Ericsson demos 3G video messaging

Those clever Swedes are developing technology to send video email messages over mobile networks

The world's first video messaging system over an operational 3G wireless network was demonstrated last week by Swedish mobile firm, Ericsson.

The company used WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access) technology for the demo which took place at Ericsson's UMTS centre in Guildford.

Dubbed simply 'video mail', the technology allows video messages to be sent to handheld devices as email. Similar to today's SMS, a small icon on the screen of a mobile will warn the user that a message has arrived.

Ericsson says that although the technology will be available for the arrival of GPRS later this year, it was likely that terminals would not support video messaging. Instead, users will have to wait at least 3 years for the next leap in mobile comms, when it predicts that there will be a multitude of compatible 3G terminals to choose from.

Lars Bergendahl, programme director for GPRS at Ericsson, foresees professional users being the prime beneficiaries of video mail. "For industries like the building industry this is a much cheaper way of communicating than via live video transmission," he says. "As it's not sent in real time it requires far less bandwidth."

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