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Nortel Networks goes to video

The company strikes a pact to bring video to its set of wireless technologies for network operators.

Network equipment provider Nortel Networks has struck a pact to bring video to its set of wireless technologies for network operators.

The company said it is now working with wireless streaming video company PacketVideo to test multi-media software that would support wireless video messaging, video gaming and video monitoring over Nortel's network equipment.

It will ultimately add such a service to its set of technologies, but a timeline wasn't available on Wednesday, according to a Nortel spokesman. Nortel has been aggressive in landing large wireless contracts from network operators to sell them next-generation "3G" wireless network equipment.

The announcement by Nortel and PacketVideo comes at a time when such next generation wireless services are being called into question. Industry consultants Jupiter Research, for example, this week released a report indicating that video over a wireless network will remain the "pipe dream" it has been since it was first proposed at a 1960 World's Fair.

PacketVideo disagrees. It has recently won a patent for some of its technologies, which added an air of legitimacy to a company that some regard as working on software that still needs years before the industry is ready to offer it commercially.

The company has also been offering a way for video to reach devices from Casio, the Compaq Computer I-Paq PocketPC and Hewlett Packard's Jornada since last year. Owners of these devices could stream video onto their handhelds using the PacketVideo's PV Airguide, which offers video from about 40 different content providers, the company said.