While WCDMA might not be rocking the kasbah right now, it might get a kick in the pants with a little help from Sagem, who just struck a royalty-based deal with Qualcomm to develop WCDMA hardware. This falls well in line with recent incentives Qualcomm has put forward to develop WCDMA in Europe. If the Nokia fight is slowing down 3G progress, at least Qualcomm’s got some alternative direction.
Beatnik announced last week that they’ve come up with a way of crunching audio files down to a tenth of their previous size, making mobile audio downloads accessible to folks below the 3G line. These files can stream in faster than the playback, so they say. The big trick was finding repeated sections of the file and doubling them over on the playback, rather than downloading the duplicate section.
This service will allow more people to buy music, nailing a sweet spot between customers who can’t afford 3G phones but can afford a few bucks for music. It also means that anyone without an iPhone will have a venue for getting their tunes, and won’t have to worry too much about memory capacity. In addition to selling its software to Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and SAGEM, Beatnik’s opening up the doors to network operators, thus skipping the manufacturing middleman. Maybe Beatnik’s unnecesarily dragging out the death of older networks, but hell, anything that brings new service to a wider audience is good business.