Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies and mobile data solutions, and PCCW Limited, the largest and most comprehensive provider of communications services in Hong Kong and one of Asia's leading players in information and communications technologies (ICT), today announced that the companies have signed a definitive agreement to conduct a technical trial of Qualcomm's MediaFLO™ technology in Hong Kong. The technical trial period runs from May 14 to November 13, 2007 and is for testing purposes only. The technical trial is intended to test the performance capabilities of MediaFLO handsets for PCCW's now TV network and to allow PCCW to assess the potential business model of a commercial mobile television service based on MediaFLO - an open, mobile broadcasting technology - if such a service were to be launched in Hong Kong.
The agreement was signed with PCCW-HKT Telephone Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PCCW Limited. PCCW launched its highly successful now TV in September 2003. now TV is the world's largest IPTV deployment with an installed customer base of more than 800,000 in Hong Kong, and it delivers more than 130 channels of world-class content. PCCW has a full quadruple-play platform in place and is a leading provider in Hong Kong of multiple access options for content, programming and interactive services over broadband, fixed line, mobile and TV. In 2007, PCCW introduced Hong Kong's first real-time mobile TV service. now TV holds exclusive Hong Kong broadcast rights, including on mobile, for Barclays Premier League soccer action for three seasons commencing with the 2007/08 season, which kicks off in August.
“We are at the forefront of new advanced interactive multimedia services and see mobile TV as a natural extension to our offerings,” said Paul Berriman, CTO of PCCW. “The Hong Kong market is ready for this type of service, which is complimentary to our 3G-based interactive multimedia services, and we want to offer the best quality solution to our end-users. MediaFLO's demonstrated success in recent trials and deployments promises a compelling user experience that has the potential for widespread adoption in Hong Kong. This technical trial will evaluate our business model and content line-up with the goal of developing the right mix of services for a future mobile broadcast and interactive TV offering.”
“PCCW is the most successful IPTV multichannel platform in the world and a natural candidate for launching a MediaFLO network in Hong Kong,” said Peggy Johnson, president, Qualcomm Internet Services and MediaFLO Technologies. “This trial will give PCCW a first-hand opportunity to experience the superiority of MediaFLO technology in a real world setting as they work toward providing world-class mobile broadcast services. This technical trial is the second that we have undertaken in the region this year and is further proof of our commitment to the Asian market.”
FLO™ technology, a broadcast innovation and key component of the MediaFLO System, is a globally recognized air interface technology with multiple technical specifications ratified by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). Furthermore, the International Telecommunication Union - Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), recently recognized FLO as an ITU-R recommended technology for the broadcasting of multimedia and data applications for mobile reception on handheld devices. The FLO air interface is designed to increase capacity and coverage, as well as reduce cost for multimedia content delivery to mobile handsets.
Qualcomm's commitment to the Asian market is underscored by other recent developments in the region. China Network Systems and Taiwan Television Media are currently conducting a technical trial of MediaFLO in Taiwan. In Japan, Qualcomm has formed a joint venture with KDDI called MediaFLO Japan Planning Incorporated, and Softbank has formed the Mobile Media Planning Corporation. Both entities have been created to explore the nationwide deployment of MediaFLO services.
Engineered specifically for the mobile environment, MediaFLO technology is intended to concurrently offer several advantages over other mobile broadcast technologies, including higher-quality video and audio, faster channel switching time, superior mobile reception, optimized power consumption and greater capacity as compared to other mobile broadcast technologies. Specific performance features of MediaFLO technology in an 8 MHz PAL channel include support for more than 30 streaming channels of QVGA-quality video and AAC+ audio, with an average channel switching time of approximately two seconds and average battery life of four hours using a standard battery. Services can include a mix of real-time and stored multimedia, such as Clipcasting™ and IP datacasting, in a single content service package.
PCCW Limited (SEHK: 0008, NYSE ADR: PCW) is the premier telecommunications provider in Hong Kong and a leader in information and communications technologies in Asia. While expanding opportunities in mainland China in partnership with China Network Communications Group Corporation, PCCW continues to enhance Hong Kong's role as a regional center of technological excellence through innovative services in new generation fixed-line and mobile telephony, broadband, information technology, wireless communications and IPTV (through its successful now TV network operated by PCCW subsidiary PCCW Media Limited). PCCW also provides cutting-edge technical services to network operators worldwide. To learn more about PCCW, go to www.pccw.com .
MediaFLO technology is a global mobile entertainment platform, enabling broadcasting of high-quality video, audio, Clipcasting media and IP datacasting streams to mobile handsets. The MediaFLO System, comprised of the MediaFLO Media Distribution System and FLO Technology, is a comprehensive, end-to-end solution designed specifically to address the inherent challenges of distributing large volumes of high-quality mobile multimedia content to wireless subscribers. Designed from the ground up with mobility in mind, MediaFLO efficiently and cost-effectively addresses the usability, network capacity and device constraints typical of video delivery to mobile handsets. More information about MediaFLO is available at www.mediaflo.com.
Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on CDMA and other advanced technologies. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 500 Index and is a 2007 FORTUNE 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market® under the ticker symbol QCOM.