Orange CEO Sanjiv Ahuja to deliver keynote address as Mobile TV takes centre stage at Mipcom 2006

MUMBAI: Mobile TV is being touted as one of the biggest trends in the world of technology and as the future service to subscribers by telecom operators. Kicking off on 11 October, the Mipcom's Mobile TV will see an exclusive keynote address given by Europe's integrated operator Orange CEO Sanjiv Ahuja, and will conclude with Mipcom's second annual Mobile TV screenings and awards.

Ahuja will discuss the content initiatives at Orange, a division of France Telecom. and will share his vision of the tremendous potential for mobile entertainment and explore the opportunities offered by mobile broadband in the always-on, anytime, any-place era. He will also outline the most recent initiatives taken by Orange through service and network convergence to provide a pocket-sized entertainment centre, informs an official release. 

"Orange is evolving into a one-stop-shop for our customers' communication and entertainment needs. Television and TV content is central to our strategy," says Ahuja. "I am delighted to have the opportunity of discussing the possibilities of converging technologies with Mipcom delegates. Everything we thought we knew about this industry is changing. With new ways to create, consume and pay for content, only players with open eyes and open minds can win." 

Ahuja joined Orange in April 2003 as COO, and was appointed CEO in March 2004. Prior to Orange, he was CEO of California-based technology company, Comstellar Technologies and was president of Telcordia Technologies (formerly Bellcore). Previously, he spent fifteen years at IBM in various executive roles. 

In addition to Ahuja's keynote and the Mobile Awards programme, this year's conference programme entitled Reshaping Media, will feature 30 sessions with over 100 speakers in addition to four other prestigious keynotes, from Disney Media Networks co-chair and president Disney-ABC Television Group Anne Sweeney, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. chairman and CEO Harry Sloan, NBC Universal president digital media and market development Beth Comstock and ESPN Inc. president and ABC Sports co-chairman George Bodenheimer.

An integral part of Mipcom 2006's mobile focus are the Mobile TV screenings and awards. Cutting-edge made-for-mobile content from around the globe will be showcased during the screenings and the prizes will be awarded in the evening of the same day.

Last year's programme attracted 220 entries, from 110 companies and 28 countries. For the second consecutive year, the contest will recognise and reward innovation and creativity in made-for-mobile formats.

Reed Midem director of television Paul Johnson comments, "Our markets continue to attract the best players in the mobile entertainment industry from all over the world. Our commitment is to help the creative industry move forward on this new medium for entertainment content. Last year's awards already generated great business opportunities for the companies who entered the competition. We expect a growing and thriving mobile content market, and therefore even more entries this year. And naturally, the Ahuja keynote reflects the importance the mobile industry places on content within their future strategy."

The award categories continue to emphasize made for mobile film, TV and animation content and also recognize the growing importance of user generated content. The award categories are: Best original made-for-mobile film or video content; Best repurposed content from existing Film or TV property; Best made-for-mobile TV channel; Best format for interactive mobile TV and best mobile format for user-generated content. In addition to these five categories,there will also be The Jury's Grand Prize for Innovation, given to the most innovative company. 

The deadline for entries for the Mobile Awards is 4 September. A pre-screening jury will nominate a selection of projects to be invited to Cannes for the Grand Jury judging on 9 October.

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