Qualcomm buys mobile web firm iSkoot

Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless
Qualcomm has acquired mobile web company iSkoot Technologies as it continues its expansion into software, this time focusing on social networking, push messaging and “voice 2.0” - in other words, key elements of a new-look carrier mobile services platform.
 
As with its activities in hosted app stores and M2M, Qualcomm aims to help its carrier customers leverage their networks for modern web services, and so take a key position in the value chain for itself.
 
Financial terms were not disclosed. iSkoot partners with device makers and cellcos to bring social and messaging services to handsets, and promises to do so in a way that is forgiving of the carrier's network and the phone's battery.
 
The firm's Kalaida Platform, like similar approaches from Opera and others, aims to reduce bandwidth usage by using managed proxy servers which transcode and aggregate traffic and cut back on frequent data transmissions.
 
Kalaida supports push email, RSS, social networking and instant messaging and can also deliver real time notifications to feature phones, extending smartphone capabilities to lower end handsets.
 
This will fit neatly with Qualcomm's Brew software platform, which has been reinvented as an apps store and developer base for midrange handsets, typically those without a fully blown OS or separate data plan.
 

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