Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies and mobile data solutions, Maxis Communications Berhad and ASTRO All Asia Networks plc, today announced that the companies have signed an agreement to conduct a technical trial of Qualcomm's MediaFLO™ technology in Malaysia. The MediaFLO trial is expected to begin in fall 2007 and will feature 25 live content channels provided by ASTRO delivered in an 8 MHz UHF channel. The trial also will include Clipcasting™ media - short-format video content that can be stored on the mobile device and viewed at a later time. Maxis and ASTRO will have the opportunity to closely evaluate the performance capabilities of the MediaFLO System - an open, mobile broadcasting technology standard - in the lead up to a potential commercial deployment of mobile broadcasting services on the Maxis cellular network in 2008.
Maxis is the leading telecommunications service provider in Malaysia, offering a range of UMTS third-generation wireless, fixed and international network services. ASTRO is the region's leading cross-media, multichannel broadcaster with direct-to-home satellite television services in Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. The company currently offers nearly 80 channels of content in PAL format.
“Maxis is an innovative leader at the forefront of delivering new products and services to our customers,” said Jon Eddy Abdullah, chief operating officer, Maxis Communications Berhad. “Already, we offer more than 20 TV channels on 3G, and we see great mass market potential for a high-quality mobile TV broadcast technology such as MediaFLO. As such, we are committed to offering mobile TV to the Malaysian market. Through this trial, we will assess the business and technical performance of MediaFLO and the promise of a compelling user experience with easy access and fast channel switching.”
MediaFLO technology is based on FLO™, a globally-recognized, open-standard air interface technology designed to increase capacity and coverage, as well as reduce cost for multimedia content delivery to mobile handsets. The efficient link margins afforded by MediaFLO technology enable both a lower cost and higher capacity system. The trial, which takes place in Kuala Lumpur, will be conducted using transmitters supplied by Rohde & Schwarz and will feature a smaller number of transmitters than is normally expected for urban areas.
“With a direct-to-home market penetration of more than 36 percent in Malaysia, ASTRO is anxious to work with an efficient mobile broadcasting technology to deliver the maximum number of services to our mobile subscribers while minimizing the use of scarce terrestrial broadcasting frequency resources,” said Graham Stephens, chief technology officer, ASTRO All Asia Networks plc. “We expect that this trial will confirm MediaFLO's network capacity and user experience, complementing the large and varied content menu we currently offer our two million pay TV subscribers in Malaysia.”
“Maxis and ASTRO represent strong allies for a MediaFLO trial in Malaysia because of their combined expertise and market penetration,” said Peggy Johnson, president, Qualcomm Internet Services and MediaFLO Technologies. “This trial will demonstrate both the exceptional performance of the MediaFLO platform in a real world setting and the substantial business benefits that the technology provides as we work towards commercial deployment in the region.”
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. Invented 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
About Maxis Group
The Maxis Group is the region's emerging mobile telecommunications group serving nearly 13 million customers as of December 2006. It has operations in Malaysia; India through subsidiary, Aircel Limited; and Indonesia through PT Natrindo Telepon Seluler. The Maxis Group has a 5,000-strong workforce and its vision is to be a 'Regional Communications Leader of Choice' by delivering service excellence and innovative solutions that bring people together. For more information, please visit www.maxis.com.my
ASTRO All Asia Networks plc is the region's leading cross-media operator with direct-to-home satellite multichannel television services in Malaysia and Brunei and soon, in Indonesia. It is the country's leader in commercial radio and publishes Malaysia's most widely circulated magazine, The Astro Guide. The ASTRO Entertainment Network produces over 20 television channels of original and aggregated content of various genres in multiple languages. Celestial Pictures owns the world's largest Chinese film library, and its digitally re-mastered films are released internationally through theatrical, video, television and new media distribution, and the Celestial Movies channels. The strength of these complementary brands has extended into interactive and multimedia services, including provision of content for mobile devices. ASTRO operates out of the All Asia Broadcast Centre, a fully-integrated digital broadcast and production complex in Kuala Lumpur. For more information, please visit www.astroplc.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.