Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), pioneer and world leader of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology, and Tata Teleservices, India's leading telecom service, today announced that the two companies have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) to use Qualcomm's BREWChat solution to offer push-to-chat services. The two companies have also entered into a binding agreement to launch wireless applications and services based on Qualcomm's BREW solution.
Tata Teleservices plans to use Qualcomm's BREWChat solution to introduce push-to-chat, next-generation telecom service, in India. This popular service offers a walkie talkie on a mobile phone and is planned for launch by Tata Teleservices in mid-2004. Tata Teleservices intends to be one of the first CDMA operators outside the United States to launch push-to-chat service. The MOU provides a framework for Tata Teleservices to roll out BREWChat-based services for up to seven million users. The BREWChat service is initially planned to be introduced across Tata Teleservices existing eight circles of operations, and to be extended across 20 circles after the company rolls out its service nationally.
The BREW agreement expands the availability of BREW-based services in India and will enable Tata Teleservices' customers to download games, ring tones, communication, e-mail and business focused applications as well as location-based services over the air, virtually anytime, anywhere. The BREW system also gives Tata Teleservices the ability to differentiate its services with multimedia messaging services (MMS), Web browsers and customized user interfaces (UI).
Built on QChat® technology, the BREWChat solution enables person-to-person and person-to-group communication between subscribers at the push of a button. The BREWChat solution carries the same features of its root QChat technology, but was specifically designed for CDMA2000 1X Release 0 networks. The BREWChat solution offers Tata Teleservices superior call set-up performance, bandwidth savings and is designed to seamlessly upgrade to and interoperate with the QChat service, which operates on CDMA2000 1X Release A networks and provides even faster performance capabilities.
"We are excited to work with Qualcomm to deliver personalized access to the latest wireless technologies and services," said Amit Bose, president of Telecom, Tata Teleservices. "The BREW solution gives us a flexible, turnkey system that integrates seamlessly into our existing CDMA2000 1X network. We envisage that push-to-chat, which is a huge success in the United States, will receive an overwhelming response here in India, given the profile of our subscribers."
"We are proud to welcome Tata Teleservices as the newest member of our worldwide operator community and thrilled with their plans to launch the BREWChat solution," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, president of Qualcomm Wireless & Internet Group. "The decision to offer subscribers an unmatched wireless experience with BREW-enabled services demonstrates Tata Teleservices' continued leadership and commitment to customers. The agreement with Tata Teleservices expands the deployment of BREW-based applications in India, benefiting India's growing community of software developers and wireless consumers."
Tata Teleservices plans to offer BREW-based services to their wireless users in the six Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. This service is also planned for 11 additional states in the next few months.
Qualcomm's BREW system provides products and services that connect the mobile marketplace value chain, which includes application developers, publishers, content providers, device manufacturers, operators and consumers.
Publishers and developers worldwide are generating revenue from BREW-based applications and content, and 24 manufacturers have offered more than 120 BREW-enabled device models to consumers. Many very successful operators have deployed commercial BREW-based wireless data services, including Verizon Wireless, ALLTEL, Cellular One, MetroPCS, Midwest Wireless and U.S. Cellular in the United States, China Unicom, KDDI in Japan, KTF in South Korea, Hutch in Thailand, Telstra in Australia, VIVO in Brazil, BellSouth Chile, BellSouth Colombia, BellSouth Ecuador, BellSouth Panama, BellSouth Perú, Movicom in Argentina, Telcel in Venezuela, Verizon Dominican Republic, Verizon Wireless Puerto Rico and Pelephone in Israel.
The BREWChat solution enables quick push-to-chat functionality on 3G CDMA wireless devices and networks. The BREWChat client software is written as an application for Qualcomm's BREW solution and offers dynamic, over-the-air upgrades of handset software, management of group membership by subscribers and ad-hoc creation of chat groups.
Tata Teleservices is India's leading private telecom service provider. The company offers integrated telecom solutions to its customers under the Tata Indicom brand, and uses the latest CDMA2000 1X technology for its wireless network. Currently operating in six states; Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat; the company has a customer base of about 1.6 million, of which 1.22 million are CDMA wireless users. With a planned nationwide footprint across the country, Tata Teleservices has acquired licenses to operate in 11 more states, which include Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Kolkata, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal.
Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on the Company's CDMA digital technology. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 500 Index and is a 2003 FORTUNE 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market® under the ticker symbol QCOM.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the extent and speed to which the BREW solution is deployed and adopted, the risk that no definitive agreement is entered into between Qualcomm and Tata Teleservices with respect to the implementation of the BREWChat solution to offer push-to-chat services, change in economic conditions of the various markets the Company serves, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 28, 2003, and most recent Form 10-Q.