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Real Content With Cingular Deal

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An agreement with the biggest US wireless provider will see video streams to cellphones provided by RealNetworks.

Real’s Helix OnlineTV will figure in the company’s development and delivery of Cingular’s video service, the two firms announced. Cingular has been rolling out its high-speed network, and wants to have video available over that 3G network later this year.

Cingular phones will integrate the Helix DNA Client to provide decoding and playback of the video streams. New handsets capable of receiving the Helix streams will be developed, but Cingular has not yet disclosed a timeframe or models.

Helix content will include news, sports, and entertainment programming. Real notes that its Helix technology already has a presence on more than 30 million handsets around the world now.

The deal comes at the expense of Microsoft, the Financial Times reports. Cingular currently uses Microsoft’s technology to receive V-Cast video streams. In addition to video streams, Helix-equipped phones will be able to download arcade games from RealArcade on a subscription basis.

Companies like Cingular have been looking for ways to increase revenue beyond the basic phone plan services. Pricing for Real’s streaming content would probably require a data plan and an additional Helix subscription. Cingular uses a similar pricing model for MobiTV, a service that sends real-time TV to handsets.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Real Content With Cingular Deal
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