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Sony Tags BREW for Content

Sony Music Entertainment Wednesday said it is the first major music company to sign an agreement to publish applications and content for QUALCOMM's Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless -- or BREW platform.

The music giant said its Mobile Products Group plans to offer a variety of applications and services to subscribers of BREW-enabled services.

Company top brass said Sony is will use the platform to develop "compelling and innovative wireless music and entertainment services for mobile consumers."

"We're excited to begin making our growing roster of products available to the expanding universe of BREW-enabled devices," Sony Music Digital Services senior vice president Thomas Gewecke.

Gewecke did not specifically identify which Sony products or platforms it would use the BREW platform for. Sony Music Mobile Products Group acquired Runtones, a wireless entertainment and technology company, last fall, and recently announced an agreement to embed ringtones on Sony Ericsson phones sold in the US, Canada, and Latin America.

But other types of content are expected considering Sony's music division includes: Sony Music (the U.S. recording company comprised of Automatic Productions, Columbia Records Group, Epic Records Group, Sony Music Manufacturing, Sony Music Distribution, Sony Music Custom Marketing Group, Sony Music Studios, and Sony Wonder); Sony Music International (active in over 67 countries through its network of wholly owned subsidiaries, joint ventures and licensees); and Sony Classical, which includes the Sony Classical Film & Video division.

"Many wireless subscribers are eager to personalize their phones with today's top music and we believe Sony Music Entertainment will be a leading content provider for the musical customization of BREW-enabled phones," QUALCOMM senior vice president of marketing Gina Lombardi said in a statement.

BREW is an open-source on-line application development platform for wireless CDMA devices from San Diego-based QUALCOMM. BREW is designed to allow developers to write in whatever language they choose. Native BREW applications are written in C or C++, and BREW supports programming in other languages, such as Java and XML. Using BREW, developers can create portable applications that will work on any CDMA device.

The wireless platform has been gaining ground. QUALCOMM says operators throughout the world are commercializing BREW-based services including Verizon Wireless and ALLTEL in the United States, KTF in South Korea, KDDI in Japan, China Unicom, VIVO (the joint venture between Telefonica Moviles and Portugal Telecom) in Brazil and Telstra in Australia.

Upwards of 50 BREW-enabled handset models have been offered to consumers worldwide and more than 40 device manufacturers have indicated their interest in the BREW platform.