A BitTorrent for cell phones

What BitTorrent did for the Net, mTouche is about to do for phones.

By Chris Morrison, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- By grabbing small pieces of big files from multiple computers simultaneously, BitTorrent became the fastest -- and most popular -- way to share large stuff like music and movies among PCs. Now a Malaysian company is setting up a similar peer-to-peer system for cell phones. Singapore-based mBit, a subsidiary of Malaysian tech firm mTouche, wants to sell its BitTorrent-like M-Bit service to 3G and 4G providers across Asia.

First up is Japan, where mBit is in talks with NTT DoCoMo (Charts) and two other carriers. The pitch: Millions of users can send large files, like 50MB movies captured on a cell phone, to one another simultaneously without clogging up DoCoMo's servers. "It's about making more efficient use of their services," says mBit CEO Chun Yan See. Cost: $2.50 per user per month.

BitTorrent software has been modified for cell phones before but required an Internet connection, just like a PC. M-Bit allows the carrier to run a sharing network on its own airwaves, making it the first mobile superdistribution network. M-Bit should fly "in the more sophisticated mobile markets of the world," says Peter Evans, a senior analyst at BuddeComm. Top of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.