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BT to launch digital mobile TV in summer

Following successful trial

BT is planning to launch its digital mobile TV service this summer, although no agreements have been made yet with mobile operators to carry the service, a company spokeswoman said today.

BT will offer its Movio service on a wholesale basis to carriers, said Genna Thomas, BT press officer. BT is talking with handset manufacturers to provide phones that can use the DAB-IP (digital audio broadcast IP) network, she said.

A four-month trial conducted with Virgin Mobile showed demand for digital mobile TV, BT claimed in a news release yesterday. Consumers suggested they are willing to pay around £8 a month for Movio, the company said. Mobile operators who carry the service will determine their own pricing.

BT, along with Virgin, broadcast digital TV and radio signals for 1,000 users with DAB-enabled phones in the London metropolitan area. Initially, they could receive Sky News, Sky Sports and Blaze, a music and entertainment channel commissioned by BT. ITV, E4 and the Cartoon Network were added later. Around 50 radio stations were offered.

BT said 73 percent of participants said they would pay for the service if it was priced competitively. The trial showed that users tuned into either TV or radio on a weekly basis or more, watching TV for more than one hour a week, BT said. Users tried digital radio for more than 90 minutes weekly.


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