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Qualcomm Concocts BREW for China

Qualcomm and China Unicom, the wireless subsidiary of state-run China United Telecom, on Wednesday announced they have signed an agreement to create a joint venture that will foster the growth of the developer community dedicated to Qualcomm's Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform in China.

The joint venture will capitalize on the technical advantages of BREW technology, the competitive advantages of CDMA in wireless data and the versatile operating capabilities of China Unicom, the two companies said in a joint release.

According to the agreement, China Unicom and QUALCOMM will work together to provide technical support and training for Chinese application developers in order to drive CDMA adoption and increased use of the BREW platform. The joint venture will provide Chinese developers with opportunities to attend BREW training events and guidance on how to export their applications into the global BREW marketplace.

"The joint venture will nurture the fast-growing BREW developer community in China with the mission of creating a powerful and personalized wireless experience for China Unicom subscribers that is unrivaled," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, president, QUALCOMM Wireless and Internet Group. "The BREW solution gives Chinese developers a complete blueprint for building applications and generating revenues -- the joint venture will serve as the architecture for commercial success."

Deployments of the BREW solution continue as carriers throughout the world join Verizon Wireless and ALLTEL in the United States, KTF in South Korea and KDDI in Japan in commercializing BREW-based services. U.S. Cellular has launched a BREW user trial and China Unicom announced its plans to launch BREW-based services in China. Twenty-nine BREW-enabled handsets are already available to consumers worldwide, and 30 device manufacturers have indicated their interest in the BREW platform.

The joint venture is now working through the corporation registration process. Additional details regarding the joint venture, including capitalization, have not been disclosed.