RealNetworks cuts the wires

Realnetworks Inc. on Tuesday introduced a software platform designed to let mobile carriers deliver audio and video content services to mobile devices.

Rolled out at the 3GSMWorld Congress show in Cannes, France, RealSystem Mobile is a client-server architecture for pushing multimedia content formats such as RealAudio, RealVideo, MPEG-4, and other 3GPP files over mobile networks.

The platform includes mobile and PC-based versions of the RealOne player, a carrier-class mobile server for in-network delivery of mobile content, the RealSystem Producer for creating digital media content, and the RealSystem Mobile Gateway.

As wireless carriers inch closer to 2.5G and 3G network infrastructures designed to accommodate rich content and higher bandwidth flows, multimedia content services for handheld devices will take off, according to Mark Donovan, group manager for business-to-consumer solutions at RealNetworks in Seattle.

"Mobile operators have a keen interest in 3G services. They've paid for the licenses and network buildout. As connectivity gets commoditized, digital media applications are what will drive carrier revenue," he said.

To help mobile operators set up services quickly, RealNetworks has enlisted support from Cap Gemini Ernst & Young for consulting integration. The partnership is designed to aid carriers with the most daunting challenges of mobile content delivery: legacy system integration and establishing billing and payment systems for content delivery.

RealSystem Mobile adheres strictly to mobile standards such as those coming out of 3GPP (Third-Generation Partnership Project), a collaboration of telecommunications standards bodies designed to establish global technical specifications for the wireless Internet.

"Standards are important in wireless content delivery to ensure interoperability and transparency to the end-user," Donovan said.

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