Virgin Dabbles In Mobile TV

    June 2, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

A team effort with BT Group will launch a pilot for 1,000 users to view various programs on their handset.

The new live mobile television service will use the Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) technology to deliver varied content to the pilot group.

In addition to Sky News and Sky Sports, there will be more than 50 radio channels and a program guide available to the testers, according to a Reuters article.

A successful debut would make BT the first to deliver digital entertainment services and broadcast television to DAB handsets. BT’s rivals like Vodafone have been working with a different technology, Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld (DVB-H).

The difference in the technologies is the use of broadcast spectrum. The DVB-H standard will need new spectrum so its proponents can start delivering commercial services. But new spectrum in Britain probably won’t be allocated for three more years.

DAB mobile television can run on existing spectrum and infrastructure. By using the version that runs over Internet Protocol, BT can copy-protect and charge for content.

The four-month pilot has been scheduled to begin in June, focusing on customers in central London.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.