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MetroPCS Mixes In QUALCOMM's BREW

As more and more people turn to their mobile phones for more than calling each other, two wireless players Wednesday pledged support to improve downloads.

QUALCOMM and wireless service provider MetroPCS said they have an agreement to launch downloadable wireless products and services based on QUALCOMM's Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform to subscribers on MetroPCS' CDMA2000 1X network.

BREW is an open-source on-line application development platform for wireless CDMA devices from San Diego-based QUALCOMM. The technology lets developers 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.

Dallas-based MetroPCS, which offers a flat rate, unlimited, anytime service for $35 a month, said the partnership will let subscribers in San Francisco, Sacramento, Miami and Atlanta select from a variety of games, ringtone packages, entertainment and business applications. "The BREW system allows us to continue advancing the quality and scope of our business by quickly bringing a powerful, consumer friendly offering to market," MetroPCS president and CEO Roger Linquist said in a statement.

Launched in 2001, BREW has been a catalyst for QUALCOMM. The company has now garnered 19 manufacturers offering more than 90 BREW- enabled device models to consumers so far. Verizon Wireless, ALLTEL, Midwest Wireless and U.S. Cellular support the environment in the United States, China Unicom, KDDI in Japan, KTF in South Korea, Telstra in Australia, VIVO in Brazil and BellSouth International in Colombia. The company has even struck a pivotal publishing and content deal with Sony .

Earlier this month, QUALCOMM said it plans to host its own regional developer conference to provide additional information for developers on deploying BREW- based applications to operators offering BREW-based services in other countries.