Nextream, Thales and Thomson to Develop Very High-Speed Wireless Access Systems

Thales, Thomson multimedia and Nextream have formed a partnership called WIMUS (Wireless Multimedia System), to be jointly owned by Thales and Thomson. WIMUS will develop integrated, very high-speed broadband wireless access systems with the aim of providing new multimedia services to business and residential customers. The venture will combine Nextream's experience in content processing and transmission, Thales' expertise in microwave base stations and receivers and Thomson's broadband access technologies and products. A commercial launch is scheduled for autumn 2003.

WIMUS systems will consist of compact base stations distributing bidirectional waveforms supporting images and Internet access within a 2- or 3-km radius, in compliance with the DAVIC standard. Subscribers will use an external receiver, a small, 15-centimeter cylinder placed on their television antenna mast and connected to the television set-top decoder and computer by standard cable.

The services to be delivered will include conventional television, VOD and NVOD and iTV, as well as interactive multimedia services such as distance learning, telemedicine, teledesign and online shopping.