InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDCC) and Sony Corporation of America (NYSE: SNE) today announced the launch of a joint venture to combine Sony’s consumer electronics expertise with InterDigital’s pioneering wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) and bandwidth management research. The joint venture, called Convida Wireless, will focus on driving new research in the growing field of M2M wireless communications and other connectivity areas.
Convida Wireless represents a new collaboration between Sony, a longtime technology leader, and InterDigital Solutions, a unit announced in October by InterDigital that explores new engagement models with industry players. Based on the terms of the agreement, the parties will contribute funding and resources for additional M2M research and platform development, which will be carried out by InterDigital Solutions. Stephens Capital Partners LLC, the principal investing affiliate of Stephens Inc., a full service investment banking firm headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, will be a minority investor in Convida Wireless. The agreement also includes a patent license from InterDigital for Sony’s 3G and 4G products.
“Mobile is one of Sony’s core businesses, and this joint venture will help us strengthen our foundation in this important area, focusing specifically on machine-to-machine wireless technologies. Given the pioneering efforts of InterDigital’s engineers in this growing field, we can’t think of a better partner,” said Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Sony Corporation of America. “Moreover, in a market that is by its very nature collaborative, we expect Convida Wireless to be a platform for additional industry collaboration.”
InterDigital’s current M2M research includes an M2M services delivery platform, standards leadership with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), and other areas of research. Recently, InterDigital technology powered a nine-vendor demonstration of standards-based M2M technology at the 3 rd ETSI TC M2M Workshop in Mandelieu, France. InterDigital’s M2M technology has been integrated into the trial platforms of various market participants, including BUTLER, Intecs, Intel Corporation, Kontron, Mformation, Radisys, Sensinode, and others.“We’re honored to partner with Sony, a company that is synonymous with so many advances in consumer technology, and to contribute our expertise in core wireless research. InterDigital’s research efforts in M2M are mature, and have from the start been focused on creating a standards-based framework to benefit all companies in the wireless space – operators, device makers and others. We believe that collaborating with Sony through Convida Wireless will bring those efforts to the next level,” said William J. Merritt, President and CEO of InterDigital.