Stage set for first digital mobile TV pilot in Spain

MUMBAI: Abertis Telecom, Nokia and Telefonica Moviles Espana are starting a mobile TV pilot using Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H) technology. The project, which is backed by major regional and local channels, is first of its kind to take place in Spain.

The pilot is a result of the convergence of mobile communications and TV broadcasting technologies. The pilot will take place in Madrid and Barcelona between September 2005 and February 2006, coinciding with the closing ceremony of the GSM World Congress 2006 in Barcelona.

500 users from Madrid and Barcelona will be able to watch high quality broadcast TV content from Antena 3, Sogecable, Telecinco, Telemadrid, TVE and TV3 on Nokia 7710 smartphones equipped with a special accessory to receive mobile TV broadcasts. With a wide color touch-screen (640 x 320 pixels) and stereo music player, users will also have the opportunity to take part in program related interactive services while watching TV, stated an official release.

The first technical pilots prior to the actual consumer pilot will start in June 2005. The consumer pilot will allow the three companies to test the feasibility of DVB-H technology and new mobile TV services. It will also be a chance to assess new business opportunities as well as refine the user experience. The pilot will assist in possible market research that would enable Abertis Telecom, Nokia and Telefonica Moviles to measure public interest in mobile TV services.

Another important objective is to test the quality of the signal and broadcast in- and outdoors, in order to determine the best technical parameters for the viability of DVB-H based services. Under the terms of the agreement, Telefonica Moviles is responsible for customer support, invoicing and interactive services. Abertis Telecom will broadcast the programs in Madrid and Barcelona and are also handling any technical issues with DVB-H signal. Nokia will provide the Mobile TV solution and smartphones that will be used for the pilot, the release added.

Abertis Telecom is one of the leaders in telecommunications infrastructure and services in Spain. These services include: analogic/digital radio and television broadcasting, mobile radio communications for security and emergency forces and telecommunications services for phone operators. Telefonica Moviles Group offers a full range of services and applications portfolio that uses the latest mobile technologies, including UMTS. Telefonica Moviles is one of the world's leading mobile carriers and the leader in the Latin American and Portuguese sectors, the release informed.

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