Multimedia services star at 3GSM World Congress

Video and multimedia feature strongly in the products on show at this year's 3GSM World Congress in Cannes.

Video and multimedia feature strongly in the products on show at this year's 3GSM World Congress in Cannes.

Chinese network equipment manufacturer ZTE will be showing streaming media, video-on-demand and Java applet download applications for third-generation networks.

French equipment manufacturer Alcatel and Japanese partner Fujitsu will be offering live demonstrations of multimedia services on Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo's Foma 3G network. A Foma base station linked directly to DoCoMo's network in Tokyo by a leased line will allow visitors to experience services such as four-way videoconferencing over the world's most developed 3G network.

Foma is not compatible with the 3G networks being built in Europe, but Alcatel said operators can still learn from the services being offered in the Far East.

German company ConVisual wants to turn mobile phone users into TV reporters. With a system it has developed, users can take a picture using their GSM camera-phone, send it by MMS to a TV station and see it displayed on screen automatically. ConVisual noted that the system includes a comprehensive editing system, allowing photos to be evaluated before they are broadcast.

There will be plenty of other MMS applications to marvel at in the MMS Interoperability Showcase. With sponsorship from Alcatel, Comverse Technology, Ericsson, LogicaCMG, Magic4, Microsoft, Nokia, Openwave Systems, Sony Ericsson, Tecnomen Oy and Telenity, the showcase will cover inter-device interoperability, smart handsets, adapting content to different handsets and managing digital rights restrictions for MMS content.

Secure Digital Container will demonstrate another form of digital rights management, its Digicont system, which is used by network operator O2 in its Music to Mobile service. The Java-based system enables the secure delivery of full-length music tracks to mobile devices.

With mobile video and mobile music already on the menu, all it takes to complete the digital entertainment panoply is mobile gaming.

Gametrac Europe will show its Gametrac console, as well as a feature that will delight network operators: a way of delivering ads to the console by MMS.

In-Fusio's stripped-down Java virtual machine for playing games has featured in a number of phones, and the company has struck a deal with Zurich-based Esmertec to incorporate its ExEn Gaming Extensions software in Esmertec's Jbed Java games platform.

The extensions will enable handset manufacturers and network operators to deploy network-based real-time multiplayer games with new features such as free trials of pay-for downloads and a contact list system to encourage players to recommend games to friends.

Sun Microsystems, which has just announced a standardisation and certification program with Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Siemens to make deploying Java 2 Mobile Edition applications simpler, will announce other mobile Java plans today.

The 3GSM World Congress runs from today until Thursday.

Peter Sayer writes for IDG News Service

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