Qualcomm, being a telecommunications company first of all, is being the first one to push for integration between 3G and LTE bands and the CPU and GPU of the phone. They’ve already made a big step towards this with the S4 chip, by integrating some LTE bands into it, together with several 3G bands, so that the S4 chips works not only on most carriers in US, but also on carriers from other countries.
Especially in US, though, the transition to LTE promises higher interoperability between carriers, although that may take many years. But just because everyone will be switching to LTE, doesn’t mean that everyone will be using the same band. This means Qualcomm must make a chip that supports everyone’s band. This is why they are now working on a chip that will support 3 sub-1 Ghz bands, 3 higher bands, and one very high, such as 2.5 Ghz.
Qualcomm will be but the first of such chip makers that will be offering band-bundling in their chips. Nvidia is going to start doing it next year with Icera. Samsung will most likely start doing it with their upcoming Exynos 5 series chips, and so on. Things are just getting started with the whole band integration into SoC’s, so in the next few years this band fragmentation problem should be a lot smaller.
The consumer benefits from this, because he or she will be able to switch carriers more easily (but also depends on how many obstacles the carriers create against that), and it’s better for phone manufacturers because it’s less expensive for them, makes the phone making process less complex, and they can ship their products faster into the market. The carriers might not love this, but they may not have many excuses to fight against it.