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S. Korea drops Sun-only software mandate

The country reverses a decision to force cellular providers to use only Sun download software to sell ring tone, games or other features.

South Korea's telephone ministry has reversed its decision to force South Korean cell phone service providers to use only Sun Microsystems download software to sell ring tone, games or other downloadable software.

The United States would have sought redress in the World Trade Organization had South Korea's Ministry of Information and Communications not reversed its April 2003 mandate giving Sun exclusive presence in its Wireless Internet Platform for Interoperability cell phone standard, said a U.S. trade representative. Benefiting the most from the flip flop, announced Friday, is San Diego cell phone chip and software maker Qualcomm, whose BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) download software is popular in South Korea and other Asian countries.