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QUALCOMM Bringing BREW to Taiwan

Looking to spread its wireless world into Asia, QUALCOMM Monday said it has signed a partnership to bring its BREW platform into Taiwan.

The San Diego-based wireless giant signed a non- binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Asia Pacific Broadband Wireless Communications (APBW), the first operator in the region to commercialize 3G services using CDMA2000 technology.

BREW is QUALCOMM's billing, payment and application distribution platform. The two companies say they will work together to find out where BREW-based applications and handsets can fit in with APBW's current network.

"With QUALCOMM's support and cooperation, we will become the first operator in Taiwan to launch a mobile multimedia service, and we will continue to work jointly to promote advanced technologies for bringing new services to the market place faster and efficiently."

QUALCOMM has a long-standing relationship with China, signing a memorandum of understanding back in 2000 to develop a CDMA network throughout the country.

APBW is a relatively new player in the 3G marketplace. The concern obtained its 3G operating license from Taiwan's Ministry of Communications and Transportation in February 2002 and said it is still on track to launch its CDMA2000 1xEV-DO network in early third quarter of this year. The company has built an island- wide network and set a target of signing up at least 710,000 3G subscribers by the end of 2003.

"We look forward to working with APBW to bring BREW-based products and services to Taiwanese consumers," said QUALCOMM chairman and CEO Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs. "APBW is recognized for its leadership in driving the evolution of Taiwan's wireless communications, and this decision solidifies their position as Taiwan's most advanced operator for wireless data services."

Even though QUALCOMM has worked extensively in Asia, the company is on a tear with its BREW installations around the world. Currently QUALCOMM has struck BREW deals with Verizon Wireless, ALLTEL and U.S. Cellular 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.

The company boasts more than 70 BREW-enabled handset models made by 15 different manufacturers.