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Mobile firms plan London TV pilot

12 Feb 08 14:47

Orange and T-Mobile have announced a joint pilot project of a multi-channel TV service for mobile phone users in west London in the second half of 2008.

During the trial, customers will use handsets with a technology called TDtv to receive up to 24 high-resolution TV channels and 10 digital radio stations.

The line-up is expected to include many of the most popular channels in the UK.

The companies say TDtv, first trialled in Bristol in 2006, is a more efficient way to deliver TV broadcasts by phone.

'Great potential'

TDtv is a multimedia broadcast and multicast service, developed by NextWave Wireless, which operates in the 3G spectrum bands that are already available across Europe.

It allows mobile operators to deliver multiple, high-resolution TV channels, digital audio and other services to an unlimited number of customers at the same time.

The 2006 trial of an 11-channel TDtv-enabled mobile TV service in Bristol was backed by Orange, Vodafone, Telefonica and 3UK.

The new London pilot was announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and a joint statement by Orange and T-Mobile said: "By providing more channels with higher picture quality that are fully integrated with existing multimedia services, the pilot service is expected to conclusively prove customer demand for mobile broadcast TV and radio services."

Paul Jevons, Orange's Product and Innovation Director, said: "Orange was the first UK network operator to introduce a mobile TV service in May 2005, and is continually looking for unique insights and innovative content to ensure that Orange Mobile TV continues to grow.

"The results from a technical trial of TDtv in Bristol last year were extremely encouraging, and this joint pilot of the service in London is an excellent opportunity for us to properly explore the great potential available to our customers from the technology."

T-Mobile UK Technical Director, Emin Gurdenli, said: "TDtv uses part of the licensed 3G spectrum which is unused at the moment and is a technology that can scale to support high simultaneous usage levels without any degradation in quality.

"This solution would be ideal for broadcasting live, large sporting events such as the 2012 Olympic Games to high population densities."

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