It may be hard to believe, but PacketVideo this week celebrated its 10th year as a software company.
The San Diego company, which offers technology for putting video on mobile devices, was founded in 1998, when phones had monochrome screens and MMS wasn’t even touted as a service. The founders of PacketVideo had backgrounds in R&D, so they were used to thinking ahead. They figured mobile devices would some day be used for entertainment, education and other things besides talking, explained Osama Alshaykh, PacketVideo’s chief technology officer.
Now, the company has shipped its software on more than 250 million devices worldwide, and its software powers services running on Verizon Wireless’ V CAST music and video, NTT DoCoMo’s 3G FOMA and Orange’s OrangeWorld.
Naturally, the founders needed a lot of patience along the way. It took a while for networks to get upgraded for faster speeds and greater capacity. But a real source of pride is actually seeing services being used by people in venues like malls and airports, Alshaykh said. A few years back, he was visiting his family in Jordan, Amman, and coincidentally saw a phone in a store that had PacketVideo’s software in it. Finally, he could show his parents what the technology was all about.
PacketVideo has claimed a number of mobile industry firsts, including the demonstration of streaming video over a 2G mobile network in 1999, followed by related trials on 2.5G and 3G networks. PacketVideo’s ownership has changed over the years as well. It’s now a subsidiary of NextWave Wireless.
The company has a lot of plans for the next 10 years, such as making the mobile phone a gateway to the home network and media collections. “We are pretty excited about the next few years,” Alshaykh said.