@jim, absolutely, LTE is more than a thin "commodity" modem because it's still new, it needs to be backward compatible, and it must go through rigorous network certification process by different cellular network operators. But overtime, it will become a commodity. Where handset vendors want to find differentiation is in apps processors.
This will be a very great success and opening as a single and only chipset provider with LTE support. In Chinese and Indian markets Mediatek is very hot due the price competitiveness as compared to other manufacturers, now 4G is the hot topic in these markets. The price ranges being discussed here will be making Mediatek Chipsets the most appropriate for getting it used in low cost phones with 4G LTE support. This will really be proven hot cake for Mediatek.
I think and believe that there is a good ground and field for a healthy competition in the LTE SoCs arena, but also that it will come down to a matter of price and value and the most affordable options will be the winning ones. Chinese companies are arguably the most fiercely competitive ones commercially but also from a technical standpoint, because they possess quite a fullfledged and capable body of scientists and engineers who develop cutting-edge products that can stand the competition. Nowadays, mobility is becoming a globally-viewed matter, and it won't be too before operators and device manufacturers start targeting lower economies markets and also trying to test lower-end products in developed markets. Ultimately, with the increasing demands of mobile data and cloud connectvity, the focus will be put on bringing to market, affordable but performant devices that will be able to handle their share of processing. So between MediaTek and Qualcomm, I see quite a dynamic equilibrium chase that will happen where both will be trying to conquer new markets in appropriate and proportionate ways and ultimately both converge toward a single cost paradigm where value and performance are evened out and fulfilling economies of scale.