Korea Realizes Rule To Block BREW Redundant

Back in March, I wrote about Korea’s WIPI platform for mobile phones, which the Korean government was set to require all three carriers to use. I discussed how this put a bee in Qualcomm’s bonnet, because WIPI is a direct substitute for BREW, and the Korean government regulation would effectively close the US company out of the Korean midddleware market. The US Trade Representative responded, putting the chill on South Korea. Well, an interesting wrinkle has developed: bending under pressure, the Korean government is set to lift the WIPI requirement, but all three carriers still plan to use WIPI. As I said in March, WIPI is very desirable for the carriers, since it offers them a standard handset platform, without the need to send a lot of royalties to San Diego. So if the carriers decide, sans regulation, to use WIPI, that’s an open market decision. The US Trade Representative has an empty win, and Qualcomm loses this battle. The best part of this story is that this time, nobody has mistaken WIPI for the Chinese WiFi standard, WAPI.

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