Over a year in the planning, US chip shop Qualcomm this week realised its vision of deploying the BREW content delivery system over GSM.
Telefonica’s UK mobile operation, O2, introduced its own-branded Ice 3G handset Monday – Europe’s first device to use Qualcomm’s BREW-based uiOne interface.
uiOne is an operator customisable users interface, which allows service providers to create different profiles or home screens for the different services on the device, such as TV, gaming, music etc.
Combined with the back end BREW content delivery platform, the system is designed to drives the discovery of wireless data services. Herbert Vanhove, vice president of Qualcomm Internet Services, Europe, said “enriching the customer experience is key to encouraging the use of data services and at present, it is the ease of discovery of services and content that is the issue.”
O2 is planning to roll out the uiOne interface across a number of its O2 branded devices, with the second model due within the next 12 months. The operator said it is eventually aiming to have 20-30 per cent of its customer base on a BREW-enabled device.
Phil Taylor, director of wireless internet applications and global wireless practice at Strategy Analytics said the mobile market has reached a tipping point where customers are beginning to consume content, but availability and discovery are still the key factors.
“Data services still features low on the usage scale,” he said “and only around 10 per cent of UK mobile subscribers are on 3G.
“However, Telefonica and O2 are driving data growth in Europe, with O2 reporting around 30 per cent of revenues from data services and Telefonica Moviles recording around 42 per cent of revenues from data. This compares to Vodafone’s 15 per cent revenue contribution from data services.”
Strategy Analytics believes that mobile data revenues in Western Europe are set to top $52bn (£27.4bn) by 2010.