The new Rogers Wireless/CHUM Ltd. white label cell phone offering will come bundled with a new video content service developed by a spin-off from one of the country’s leading new media production shops. The service, by start-up QuickPlay, will aggregate CHUM and other video content from sources including CBC and CTV Inc., and be available as a shortcut from the phone’s main screen. QuickPlay partner Raja Khanna tells Report on Wireless that the platform will also shortly be integrated into Telus Mobility’s offering. QuickPlay was formed one year ago, says Khanna, to exploit several trends he and his partners have seen gel. He notes that carriers worldwide have upgraded their mobile networks to at least 2.5G standards such as EDGE, 1X, GPRS and others. Secondly, phones are rapidly being made video-enabled with adherence to the 3GPP standard. Video messaging is now being touted as a significant market by carriers and research cited by Khanna indicates a large demand for media-related content on the phone. To capitalize on these developments, Khanna and his partners Wayne Purboo (the majority owner) and John Coady have formed QuickPlay. The company expects to profit by serving as an aggregator of video content from around the world while at the same time licensing its proprietary platform for content delivery.  The two activities are taking place in tandem as deals are struck with rightsholders in Canada and the U.S., and a team of around 20 develop the WAP deck platform. Khanna says the content might be better delivered using a client-side application, something the company is also developing. It is currently in discussions with handset manufacturers including Sony Ericsson.  While the initial service on the CHUM/Rogers phone and with Telus will likely concentrate on contet from third-party rights owners, Khanna says it’s his intention to move the company into the area of original content production. "We’re one of the first movers in North America. There’s a couple of other guys in the States. The only other service I know that has launched is something called MovieTV that launched from Sprint in the States. And, that’s a very different kind of service. That’s basically watching live TV on your phone, but at a really low resolution, like one frame per second. I don’t consider it competitive to what we’re doing. We’re launching with these video clips on a (video-on-demand) service, and we’re going to quickly evolve into…more of a video-enabled service company.  So, imagine, instead of browsing – like you will do next week on Rogers – browsing a WAP catalog and downloading a video clip and paying two bucks for that or whatever, we will evolve into a service where you subscribe to, for example, the MuchMusic mobile channel where you’ll get new shows every week, delivered to you, whether it’s your MMS in-box or your Java application that we develop, or a client application on the phone which is much more user-friendly than a traditional WAP deck. I think what’s put us ahead. Partially it’s timing, but more than that it’s our focus on creating better user experiences." The initial round of funding was partly made by SNAP Media, a Toronto-based new media content shop owned by Khanna. SNAP has gained an international reputation in recent years for its work on the interactive components to television shows such as Degrassi: The Next Generation and Instant Star and will undoubtedly become known again for its production of Race to Mars – a convergence title with one of the largest budgets in Canadian history. SNAP is working currently on developing some of the QuickPlay content in areas such as video transcoding and meta-tagging. It will also be contracted to develop original content, says Khanna. The company will likely make at least a splash in international circles though its initial launch will be in the relatively small Canadian market. Purboo was an early founding participant and now a senior executive at Amdocs, a global giant in billing and CRM software.