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Packet Switched Streaming: Emerging industry Standard

IMTC Activity group pushes ahead with Packet Switched Streaming tests - Promising technology for wireless multimedia applications - Major vendors join

San Ramon, August 5, 2002. Packet-Switched Streaming Services (PSS) appears to be the likely future industry standard for wireless multimedia applications, claims Adi Plaut, Chairman of the PSS Activity Group organized within the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC). This group is testing the implementation of Packet Switched Streaming techniques in wireless communications. The successful completion of the test series organized by the PSS Activity Group will lead to new high-tech applications for mobile networks, in particular opening new avenues in mass communication. "We are now in the second cycle of testing PSS and our results show that applications such as video on demand on mobile phones are indeed feasible. This will open a full avenue of new business opportunities to the communications industry," said Mr. Plaut.

Ericsson, Fraunhofer IIS, Nokia, and RealNetworks join
While nine participants joined in the first round of tests in spring this year, the group has now grown significantly: Ericsson, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS), Nokia, and RealNetworks have just joined the PSS Activity Group "We are thrilled that such important players have decided to take part in our tests," said Adi Plaut. "Their decision to become active members reinforces the validity and importance of our work. It confirms our belief that the technique of Packet Switched Streaming is a very promising path into the future of wireless communication, which will ultimately enable full multimedia communications via mobile phones or other mobile electronic devices," he added. The PSS Activity Group is currently in the second cycle of testing, after having performed one complete test cycle. The first cycle involved nine vendors and was completed in March 2002 at a face-to-face test event hosted by Siemens AG in Munich.

The PSS Activity Group now consists of 13 participants: Emblaze Systems (Israel), Ericsson (Sweden), Fraunhofer IIS (Germany), Hantro Products Oy (Finland), Hutchison Mediator (USA), Mobixell Networks (Israel), Motorola (USA), Nokia (Finland), PacketVideo (USA), RealNetworks (USA), Royal Philips Electronics (The Netherlands), Serome Technology (Korea), and Siemens AG (Germany). "This group now represents a major part of the industry," commented Mr. Plaut and added: " The reason for our groups growth is that we offer a tool to verify and validate that this new standard was interpreted and implemented by different vendors in the same way - meaning that different servers, applications and devices can inter-work together. Therefore we expect more enterprises to join already during this second test cycle, which will include another face-to-face interoperability test scheduled in the fall this year."

Second test cycle to end in fall this year
The second test cycle consists of three parts. The first part tests basic system components using an offline file exchange technique. When file exchange is proven successful, the group moves to the second part of the test in which the system protocols are tested over the Internet. When full communication is successful, the group moves to the last and the most important part, the Face-to-Face testing event. During this meeting, which is scheduled in the current cycle for the beginning of December, the interoperability of the full system is tested. The current test cycle is due to be completed in end of the year, and a 3rd test cycle is expected to begin one month afterwards.

The PSS interoperability testing is being performed according to the 3rd Generation Partnership Program (3GPP) standards. Participation is open to any developers of streaming servers, content distribution servers, content creation tools or multimedia terminals. The only additional requirement is membership in IMTC. "It is obvious, however, that group participants will enjoy a decisive comparative advantage when it comes to marketing future products based on our tests," Mr. Plaut added. More information on the IMTC PSS Activity Group can be found at the homepage of IMTC at http://www.imtc.org/activity_groups/pss.asp.

About the IMTC
The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) is an industry-leading non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, encourage, and facilitate the development and implementation of interoperable multimedia conferencing solutions based on open international standards. The IMTC hosts interoperability testing events and demonstrations throughout the world. Over the past three years. The IMTC has hosted more than 60 interoperability testing events to test T.120, H .320, H.323, H.324, SIP, and Voice over IP products and services with each other. The IMTC Board of Directors includes representatives from Avaya, Cisco Systems, Forgent Networks, France Telecom, Intel, KPN Telecom, Nokia, Polycom, RADVISION, Ridgeway, Siemens AG, Sony, TANDBERG, Telverse, and WorldCom. The San Ramon, California -based consortium comprises close to 100 member organizations from around the globe. Membership is open to any interested party, including vendors of audio, document, and video conferencing hardware and software; academic institutions; government agencies; and non-profit organizations. "The IMTC is making Rich Media happen Anywhere, Anytime."

Further information on IMTC and the PSS Activity Group can be found at http://www.imtc.org.

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