Real, Ericsson team to deliver mobile media

RealNetworks is aiming to spring-board its media delivery technology onto a host of mobile devices through a new deal forged with Swedish telecommunications infrastructure provider Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson.

Under the agreement, to be announced at the 3GSM World Congress conference in Cannes, France, Wednesday, Ericsson will be integrating Real's Helix media delivery technology into its new Content Delivery Solution. Ericsson Content Delivery Solution, which is also being unveiled at the 3GSM show, will provide operators with media delivery offerings catered to the mobile market, as well as provide back-end support and monitoring.

Through the alliance, Real is hoping to gain access to Ericsson's relationships with over 100 mobile carriers, and proliferate its technologies across a range of global markets, according to Ian Freed, vice president of Mobile Products and Services at Real.

"We don't have the ability to be in as many countries as Ericsson, so that's why this is a great partnership for us," Freed said.

Ericsson will be integrating Real's Helix Universal Mobile Server and Helix Universal Mobile Gateway, which allow mobile operators to stream and control media on their networks. The Helix technologies stream every major 3GPP-compliant format, including RealAudio, RealVideo, and MPEG-4. According to Freed, Real's support of the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) standard is a big draw for operators since it allows roaming between carriers.

Freed predicted that media streamed through Ericsson Content Delivery Solution and Real's Helix technologies will be popping up in mobile devices within the next three to six months.

Although he conceded that it is still early for this market, Freed said he expects to see near-term growth in voice media over mobile devices, such as offering users sports and news programs.

Since announcing its Helix initiative last year, which aims to offer an open platform for media delivery in any format, the company has been busy teaming with a number of industry players.

In addition to allying with Ericsson, which is a leading handset maker as well an infrastructure provider, the Seattle, Washington, company has also sealed a deal with handset giant Nokia to incorporate its media delivery technologies.

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