Qualcomm to build DRM into WCDMA chipset

Qualcomm Inc. will build digital rights management (DRM) technology into its forthcoming chipsets in hopes of enticing content providers to distribute their content wirelessly to smart phones, the company said Tuesday at 3GSM World Congress in Cannes.

The MSM6250 chipset for WCDMA/UMTS (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access/Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) 3G (third generation) networks will come with SecureMSM, software that complies with DRM standards set forth by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), Qualcomm said in a release.

Part of the appeal of 3G cell phones is the ability to download content to smart phones and other wireless devices. But the proliferation of file-swapping sites has made content providers leery about making their premium content easier to access.

In 2002, the OMA released guidelines called "OMA DRM version 1.0" that defined several features that DRM implementations should contain. The three features were Forward Lock, which prevents content from leaving the device via peer-to-peer networks; Combined Delivery, specifications on how the content can be used on the device for which it is authorized; and Separate Delivery, which encrypts the content.

The MSM6250 chipset will support OMA DRM version 1.0 as well as other open DRM implementations from third parties, a Qualcomm spokeswoman said. Nokia Corp., Siemens AG, Motorola Inc. and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB already use OMA DRM version 1.0 in some of their cell phones.

Earlier this month, the OMA released version 2.0 of the DRM specifications with improvements for streaming content and audio/video rendering.

Samples of the chipset were first shipped to Qualcomm's partners last August, but those chipsets did not include this technology, the spokeswoman said. Phone manufacturers will be able to order the DRM-enabled chipsets by the middle of this year, she said.

Phone makers such as Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and LG Electronics Inc. are planning to use the 6250 chipset in upcoming phones, the spokeswoman said.

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