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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 07:55 GMT 08:55 UK
Norwegians try out TV on mobiles
Sample of the content NRK is offering
People can watch a variety of TV content
Mobile users in Norway can now watch TV on their phones, courtesy of the public broadcaster NRK.

The service from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation allows people to watch television on their mobiles 24 hours a day.

Alongside the live streaming, people can pick more specialised content such as a news bulletin every hour and a Top Gear style motoring show.

NRK expects the content to become more tailored as the market picks up.

Increasing popularity

For the moment it simply testing whether consumers will want and use TV on their phones. So far the feedback has been encouraging.

Mobile networks are getting faster and better and by next year 80% of handsets will have a media player
Bjarne Andre Myklebust, NRK
"In the first eight hours of launching, 2,000 clips were downloaded," said Bjarne Andre Myklebust, a spokesman for NRK.

He expects the service to become more popular as video phones become more common.

"Usage will go up and up. Mobile networks are getting faster and better and by next year 80% of handsets will have a media player," he told BBC News Online.

The technology behind the video content has been developed by Norwegian firm RubberDuck Media Lab.

The service supports 3GP, which is one of the standards for mobile TV.

This means that users do not have to download a media player on to their phones and it will also work on all networks.

Fawlty clips

John Cleese as Basil Fawlty
Basil Fawlty has made debut on phones

At the moment the TV company is offering its content free to operators but plans to start charging for at least some of the content in the autumn.

Users, however, do have to pay a traffic download fee. This varies depending on the operator but is between 30 - 50 euros (20 - 40).

The BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, is also offering some of its vast archive of TV programmes to mobile phone firms.

Last year it did a deal with Vodafone which allowed subscribers to download excerpts from the classic comedy show Fawlty Towers.

It is in discussion with all the main mobile networks about offering other services.

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