Nokia looks at regular TV programmes on mobile

MUMBAI: Would you watch the finale of Indian Idol on a two inch screen attached to your mobile handset? Finnish cellphone company Nokia believes you will. The company has started a pilot project, adhering to the Euorpean DVB-H standard,under which regular TV programmes are being transmitted to handsets fitted with special accessories. The sample base located in Helsinki, Finland numbers 500. The announcement was made by Nokia on Tuesday.


Other companies which are participating in the project include: Finnish broadcaster YLE, and programming units of MTV, CNN, BBC World, Euronews, Eurosport, ViVa Plus, and Fashion TV.

The test is expected to end by 20 June.

Meanwhile, Nokia vice-president (mobile TV) Mark Selby had told the DVB World 2005 Conference in Dublin (Ireland) last week that early trials from the test had revealed that the cellphone generation will be as comfortable watching regular television content on their TV equipped mobile handsets. "The model that we anticipate is going to work best," Selby had said, "is straight broadcast television." The group he called the "mobile generation" is going back to the "tube."



He added that that later content makers and broadcast editors might succeed with "tailored content" specially suited to a microscreen and the short battery life of a mobile device, but "that would be delivered alongside broadcast content."

He had pointed out that research in Europe had revealed that as about 20 per cent of cellular phone users were willing to pay around 10-20 Euros above their current mobile bills for cellular TV. Additionally, AT Kearney had announced that its research had shown that a substantial cellular user base was willing to cough up an additional $20 a month for the same service.

For those who believe that bandwidth could be an issue, well Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are working overtime to surmount the hurdle. Qualcomm's is investing $800 million in setting up its MediaFLO unit in the US. The system is expected to facilitate content aggregation, delivery and viewing while supporting 50-100 national and local content channels, the company had announced in November last year. The network is expected to deliver QVGA video with as much as 30 frames per second capability as well as high quality stereo audio in the 700 Mhz spectrum. Texas Instruments is also further testing its Hollywood chipset to bring broadcast signals to cell phone service providers.


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