Virgin Mobile who recently sold their Australian subsidary to Optus will become the first operator in Europe to offer a mobile phone-based television service later this year.
Virgin Mobile who recently sold their Australian subsidary to Optus will become the first operator in Europe to offer a mobile phone-based television service later this year. BT Movio is providing the hardware for the service, which uses the DAB standard also used for digital radio. Five digital TV channels and 350 radio channels will be available at launch.
“BT is at the forefront of innovation and the BT Movio service is the first of its kind in Europe,” said Emma Lloyd, managing director of BT Movio. “By taking the leap into broadcast TV for mobile, Virgin Mobile will be able to offer customers a real live TV experience. We are delighted that they have chosen our platform.”
Existing handsets cannot, however, receive transmissions, but BT and HTC have developed a mobile capable of receiving the broadcasts, the Trilogy. It has a 2.2in screen and a range of other media driven features including removable storage and an integrated 1.3-megapixel camera. “Virgin Mobile customers will be the first people in Europe to watch real broadcast TV over their mobile phones,” said Graeme Hutchinson, sales and marketing director of Virgin Mobile.
“It’s not downloaded; it’s not looped; it’s real TV just like you get at home, and it’s real DAB digital radio with crystal clear sound.” A spokesman for Virgin said that the network is expecting mobile TV to be a big pull for consumers, and that Virgin is hoping to grab subscribers from other networks. Virgin has exclusive rights to the service at the moment but other carriers may be able to use the signal once the service is established.