Qualcomm has said it is ramping up support for its BREW application development platform in Europe, as 3G networks based on WCDMA are rolled out across the continent.
Traditionally, if unofficially, company non grata in Europe, because of its role as prime cheerleader for CDMA, Qualcomm is positioning itself as a supporter of all the CDMA-based 3G technologies being implemented across the world. This includes WCDMA.
It will do this by producing multi-mode chips with capability to support phones which can be used over CDMA200, 2xEVDO, WCDMA and GPRS. As an example, the first commercial phones from Samsung offering dual mode CDMA2000/ GPRS capability will be introduced to support China Unicom, and its GSM1x network, ceo Irwin Jacobs claimed.
BREW is an application development environment which is added onto Qualcomm chips. Mobile Europe saw a live demonstration of a BREW gaming application running over GPRS at ITU Telecom in Geneva, as Qualcomm sought to prove BREW was a non-air interface specific environment.
"The BREW layer is put on top of the chips, Jacobs said, "And the phone manufacturer puts the UI 9user interface) on top of BREW - customised to the operator. Operators are then able to download the UI to the phone customised to their subscribers."
To support this vision Qualcomm has increased its European presence, opening assigning a dedicated BREW developer team to its London office and bringing in Johan Lodenius as senior vice president of European Business Relations to lead the European BREW team.
Lodenius talked up the potential for BREW in Europe. "Qualcomm is making a long term commitment to work closely with operators, developers and handset manufacturers in Europe with the goal of helping them realise the results already being experienced with the BREW solution in other parts of the world," he said.
European developer partners for BREW include Swiss player Esmertec, which is working on a Java Virtual Machine based solution for BREW devices. Swedish company Teleca has a browsing and messaging solution for BREW and Italian company Interzen has a traffic information application and weather station application, both for BREW. Other partners include Webraska and Macrospace, a mobile games provider.