The next step in delivering high quality video images and audio to third generation cellphones has been taken by US technology company Qualcomm.

Its subsidiary, MediaFLO, is planning to spend $800 million (€627m, £436m) over five years to build a national highspeed network that transmits live news, sports clips and advertisng via its cellphone chips. Distributors, the company hopes will be such giant US telecom providers as Verizon and Sprint.

The service, which will be an important new delivery channel for TV networks and cable and satellite operators, is expected to launch in 2006.

Says evp Paul Jacobs: "Qualcomm strongly believes that the broad delivery of wireless multimedia services is the logical next step in the evolution of the wireless industry."

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff