Symbian puts mobile video on display

Israel's Emblaze is to developed streamed video solutions for smartphones based on the Symbian platform

Israel's Emblaze hopes to set next-generation mobile handsets on fire, through a deal with Symbian, the smartphone operating system developer backed by Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola and other top mobile phone companies.

The company, listed on the London Stock Exchange, said on Tuesday that it plans to join Symbian's technology partner programme and optimise the Emblaze player for Symbian phones. Symbian is developing a variety of handset types for 2.5G and 3G mobile phone networks, which are slowly rolling out across Europe. Emblaze streaming video servers are already compatible with PCs, PDAs, other wireless platforms and interactive television.

Symbian said video will help convince users to spend money on 2.5 and especially 3G phones and services -- crucial to network operators' plans for making the costly networks pay off. "Wireless multimedia offerings such as Emblaze offer visual value-add for mobile users on top of the Symbian platform, enabling content and services such as multi-player gaming or promotional web content," said Symbian's Jeremy Copp, vice president, business relationships.

The rollout of high-speed, always-on data networks to replace the current circuit-switched voice networks has faced mounting delays and unexpected costs since network operators paid optimistically high prices for 3G licences early last year.

Originally, 2.5G networks, based on GPRS (general packet radio service), were supposed to have been widely available by early this year, giving an early boost to the mobile data industry. GPRS will now be widely available by the middle or tail-end of the year, according to observers.

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