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Qualcomm Buys Elata For $57 Million

Qualcomm LogoQualcomm has bought British mobile content company Elata for $57 in cash…Elata’s main product is a content delivery system known as ‘Senses’ which enables operators to bundle different kinds of mobile content and send them over the network. “The types of content which can be unified and managed include ringtones and wallpapers, plus BREW, Java, streaming video and other 3GPP style files. It works with a very wide range of feature phones and smartphones.”
The platform works on different networks (WCDMA (UMTS), GSM and CDMA2000) and is backwards compatible. “For example, an operator may offer applications and services to its subscribers that have been developed in multiple programming languages and are delivered via many different systems to the handset. With a unified system, the delivery of all content is streamlined and, in addition to creating a more seamless, standardized user experience, an operator’s costs are reduced and the operator is in a better position to bring new content and services to market much more rapidly.” (from the press release)
Qualcomm plans to tie this product to its Brew development platform, and is probably part of the companies push to get Brew onto GSM networks…I think it also has the benefit of providing a way for telcos to run GSM networks alongside CDMA-based 3G networks more easily.
The deal follows Qualcomm’s agreement last week to buy privately held Flarion Technologies for about $600 million.
Unstrung: “It allows us to be far more flexible with European operators,” Peggy Johnson, president of Qualcomm Internet services said. “Elata…delivers content to non-BREW devices. In the European market they have a huge portfolio of non-BREW devices. It made sense to look at a product like elata’s that can deliver a unified catalogue of ringtones, wallpaper, streaming video, etc., to both BREW and non-BREW devices. It really opens up doors for us in Europe.”
ShareCast: VC firm NewMedia SPARK, who invested in Elata with the Royal Bank of Scotland and nCoTec Ventures in 2002, sold its 5% holding, and netted about $2.7 million in return for its $1.15 million investment.
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