Qualcomm splashes out on Digital Fountain

Qualcomm has acquired US content delivery technology firm, Digital Fountain. Qualcomm said in a statement only that it 'has acquired a team of seven key engineers that will continue to support the technology and existing Digital Fountain customers.'

Deloitte has urged caution about mobile TV's outlook in 2009/10. It said in a recent Media Prediction, "Mobile television's momentum in 2009 is likely to be dragged down by disappointing performance in 2008. Major sporting events, which can be a catalyst for adoption of new media formats, largely failed to affect mobile television. While two-thirds of the world's population watched the Beijing Olympics on television, there was scant demand for the event via mobile television.

The creation of mobile-specific content also failed to make an impression, aside from a hit to the bottom line. Customized content in some cases attracted audiences measured in their hundreds104 in markets where conventional television attracts millions."

The Qualcomm team will be led by Digital Fountain's founder and CTO, Mike Luby, who will report into Qualcomm's CTO. Digital Fountain is a specialist in broadcast and real-time data transport and its technology is aimed at mobile operators, IPTV providers and national defence agencies.

Customers include Cisco Systems, Sumitomo Electric Networks, Scientific Atlanta, Northrop Grumman, Pioneer, KDDI, Sirius Satellite Radio, XM Radio, Sony, Nokia and Adobe.

Qualcomm is planning a big push for its MediaFLO mobile TV platform this year, targeting launch in more than 100 US markets by year-end. It intends to launch services using 700MHz spectrum it acquired in US auctions last year.