3GSM: The maturing of BREW: less tech, more apps

3GSM: The maturing of BREW: less tech, more apps

Qualcomm's BREW platform is maturing. The wireless application platform, once touted by Qualcomm as being a bundled solution for wireless operators, has evolved. No longer is BREW just an end-to-end platform. It is now three different packages--uiOne, DeliveryOne and QPoint--and carriers can select one or all of these solutions based upon their individual needs.

Just as the technology has evolved, so has the BREW conference. The annual confab, which is being held June 20-22 in San Diego, started out in 2001 as a small developer fest with panels focused on helping developers understand how to use the BREW platform or assist handset makers in porting BREW applications to their devices.

While there are still many tech-centric panels at BREW 2007, the conference now features panels that focus on applications and business models. You will also see many more types of companies attending BREW, including international operators, content firms and big entertainment companies. Look for some compelling keynote addresses from Warner Music's George White, Hutchison 3G's Frank Meehan and Verizon's John Harrobin.

This year I am particularly looking forward to an update from Verizon Wireless--Qualcomm's largest purveyor of the BREW platform. At last year's BREW conference John Stratton, then-CMO of Verizon Wireless, talked about some of the challenges consumers face when trying to download content and how operators need to improve the user experience.

Stratton called upon the developers at the conference to work on ways to make the mobile content buying experience better. And he talked about how Verizon was going to improve its on-deck offering as well as launch BREW Zone. With BREW Zone, the carrier would be able to sell content off-portal through the VZW.com Web site.
I expect off-portal to be a hot topic at BREW again this year, as does Qualcomm Internet Services and MediaFLO Technologies Executive Vice President and President Peggy Johnson. When I spoke with Johnson earlier this month about BREW, she said that she thinks U.S. operators are closely watching the off-deck phenomenon in Europe and taking steps toward the off-deck model. She says one of Qualcomm's goals is to help operators manage their off-deck capabilities while still providing a solid customer experience.

On a lighter note, I am looking forward to BREWFest celebration on Thursday evening. This year's entertainment is the Goo Goo Dolls. - Sue

P.S.  Look for our coverage from the BREW 2007 conference next week at the FierceDeveloper Website, www.fiercedeveloper.com.  FierceMarkets is producing the BREW show daily at the BREW conference and we will be posting all our coverage live at the FierceDeveloper site.