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HP, Nokia & Radio Mirchi to market visual radio in India

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MUMBAI: Expanding their global cooperation, Hewlett Packard (HP) and Nokia have joined hands with the radio brand Radio Mirchi to market the first service in India that enables mobile phone users to receive FM radio broadcasts synchronized with interactive visuals and text on the handsets.

Radio Mirchi listeners in Delhi can now have access to visual radio, a new music service on their Nokia mobile phones for Hutch subscribers, followed by other metros in the country.

With visual radio, the listeners can enjoy engaging and exciting content: visuals, information and entertainment of what's playing over the air, purchase ring tones and other mobile content of the artiste, participate in radio station promotions, polls, contests, and interact with RJs and special guests.

The customer would be charged at the regular PlanetHutch rate of 10 paise per 10 KB and regular download charges for downloading ring tones and many other features, informs an official release.

In 2003, Nokia had announced Visual Radio as an upcoming product for their new range of multi-media phones. In UK, Virgin Radio was the first station to make use of the interactive Visual Radio functionality.

Nokia and HP are pushing the visual radio concept in countries like Finland, Thailand, Singapore and some European countries as well. In Singapore MediaCorp Radio's music station Y.E.S. 93.3 FM is the first Chinese language radio station in the world to be made available on Visual Radio.

And in Finland, SBS Finland's Kiss FM became the first radio station in the world to begin visual radio broadcasts.

Visual radio is at present, available on Nokia NSeries devices (Nokia N70, Nokia N71, Nokia N72 Nokia N80, Nokia N91) and select Nokia phones (Nokia 3230, Nokia 3250, Nokia 6125, Nokia 6131, Nokia 6280 and Nokia 7370).

ENIL (Radio Mirchi) MD and CEO A.P. Parigi says, "Visual radio provides us an exciting opportunity to involve, engage and entertain this demanding generation. Visual radio not only enhances the listener's interaction with the station, it also provides advertisers a more dynamic platform to communicate their messages."

The launch of visual radio in India demonstrates a revolution in interactive mobile communications and redefines the experience of traditional FM radio, not only for the users but also for broadcasters, advertisers and mobile operators.

This medium holds the opportunity to create new business models, which can offer access to interactive music discovery services and the ability to purchase merchandise directly from a mobile phone.

"Since introducing the visual radio service, HP has worked with industry leaders like Radio Mirchi and Hutch to deliver visual radio to listeners around the world," HP India HP Services VP Kapil Jain says. "We look forward to working with our partners to make visual radio a great success in India."

Adds Nokia India national operator and retail accounts director Vineet Taneja, "Visual radio will make listening to the radio via your mobile phone a truly multi-dimensional experience. This will offer a host of new rich music services to Nokia users allowing them to indulge their passion at the click of a button."

"As part of this commitment, we have already launched more than 20 Nokia devices in India that are compatible with visual radio with still more to come in the future," Taneja concludes.

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