TIM gets BREW on the boil

Leading Italian mobile operator, Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM), said Monday that it has signed up to launch wireless data services based on Qualcomm’s BREW content delivery platform.

The operator will offer the services over its 3G network and plans to make available new applications and services including premium 3D games, a dynamic idle screen with the ability to stream live content feeds, as well as downloadable themes.

The announcement is something of a landmark for Qualcomm, marking the first such contract for the company in the GSM space.

Despite the fact that it has been technically possible to run Brew over GSM for some time, the CDMA pioneer has struggled to gain acceptance for its offering in Europe. Qualcomm initiated its Brew for GSM strategy in late 2004 with the $36m acquisition of UK developer Trigenix, which developed the GSM user interface for Brew and had an existing relationship with Elata, a content delivery firm now owned by the big Q.

In September Telefonica’s UK mobile operation, O2, introduced its own-branded Ice 3G handset, marking Europe’s first device to use the BREW-based uiOne interface.

“TIM’s decision to launch BREW services in Italy underscores the momentum we are seeing for the BREW solution with European operators,” said Peggy Johnson, president of Qualcomm Internet Services and MediaFLO Technologies. “We believe there will be an accelerated drive toward native games in Europe in 2007, and TIM is poised to lead that charge by launching the proven, high-quality experience that the BREW Gaming Signature Solution provides,” she said.

TIM will support the services on two handsets based on Qualcomm’s MSMT chipsets – the Samsung Z630 and the Onda N5050.

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