Qualcomm, BSkyB to conduct MediaFLO Technology trial in UK

MUMBAI: Qualcomm Incorporated and British Sky Broadcasting Limited (BSkyB) today announced that the companies have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to conduct technical trials of Qualcomm's MediaFLO technology in the United Kingdom.

Expected to begin during the summer of 2006, the technical trial will feature 10 channels of BSkyB content on a small number of non-commercial devices provided by Qualcomm. The technical trial is intended to allow BSkyB to closely evaluate the performance capabilities of FLO technology, an open, cellular network-agnostic wireless multicasting technology, as it continues to explore the growing number of opportunities to deliver video services to mobile devices in the UK.

FLO technology, a multicast innovation and key component of the MediaFLO system, is an air-interface technology designed to increase capacity and coverage, and reduce cost for multimedia content delivery to mobile handsets.

The BSkyB technical trial is expected to be the first such trial of FLO technology in Europe. In addition to this technical trial, Qualcomm and KDDI have formed a joint venture to explore the deployment of MediaFLO services in Japan. Also, MediaFLO USA, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, is working with Verizon Wireless to deploy wireless multimedia services based on FLO technology in the US.

"BSkyB is committed to offering customers flexible ways to enjoy our services. We have led the way in the delivery of mobile TV over existing platforms and we look forward to working with Qualcomm in this technical trial to evaluate the potential of MediaFLO," said BSkyB group director of business development Stephen Nuttall.

"As one of Europe's largest, most successful and best-known multichannel television platform operators, BSkyB is the ideal company to team up with Qualcomm on our first MediaFLO trial in Europe. We expect this trial to demonstrate a strong validation of the value Qualcomm believes FLO technology offers both in Europe and other markets around the world. The openness of the MediaFLO system, as well as its significant advantages with respect to coverage, power consumption and cost, set MediaFLO apart from other competing technologies," said Qualcomm Internet Service and MediaFLO Technologies president Peggy Johnson.

Engineered specifically for the mobile environment, FLO technology is intended to offer several advantages over other mobile multicast technologies, including higher-quality video and audio, faster channel switching time, superior mobile reception, optimised power consumption and greater capacity concurrently as compared to other multicast technologies.

In addition, FLO technology-based multimedia multicasting will complement wireless operators' CDMA2000(R)/EV-DO and WCDMA/HSDPA cellular voice and data services, delivering content to the same cellular handsets used on these 3G networks.

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