The BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) technology platform is getting increasing acceptance among global broadband service providers. BREW is a proprietary technology solution developed by Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM). This is a mobile handset platform supporting both high-end feature-rich smart-phones as well as low-end ordinary mobile phones that are intended to drive several wireless data applications. BREW technology enables mobile service providers to generate revenues from different value-added services. BREW solutions will help customers to access 3D mobile games, social networking, ring-tones and other productivity tools.
As of now, BREW has been commercially deployed by more than 60 carriers in over 25 countries. Qualcomm claims that the platform generated more than $2 billion revenues for the application developers as of March 2009. Verizon Wireless (VZ) is so far the largest telecom operator that deployed BREW mobile platform. Last July, the carrier renewed its BREW contract with Qualcomm and announced a new agreement to promote growth on this mobile platform, rolling out new features that include a recommendation engine powered by Qualcomm subsidiary Xiam Technologies.
Recently, Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) decided to offer mid-tier mobile handsets to its customers based on the BREW platform. Sprint will integrate the high-performance mobile Java and other native applications within BREW. Last August, Cox Communications Inc, a leading cable MSO in the U.S. also entered into an agreement with Qualcomm for its BREW solutions. Cox is trying hard to launch its 3G wireless network in 2009. Once the service becomes available, Cox’s wireless subscribers with Brew-enabled handsets will be able to download a variety of applications from categories such as games, tools, lifestyle, location, messaging and ringtones.
Qualcomm participated in a pilot project in the emerging market of India. Together with the Indian Society of Agribusiness Professional and United Villages Inc, the joint venture will develop a mobile classifieds application called “vBay”, based on the BREW platform. The vBay service will provide Indian rural communities the ability to post and browse products and services across a network of BREW-enabled villages. This will improve information sharing such as daily commodity price updates within the rural community enabling long-term productivity gains.
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