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Hong Kong's PCCW to broadcast real-time TV over 3G network

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MUMBAI: The Hong Kong-based PCCW Mobile announced it has become the world's first mobile provider to broadcast real-time TV over its 3G network, using Cell Multimedia Broadcast (CMB) technology.

The service was demonstrated today by PCCW executive director Alex Arena at a keynote address at the 2006 Broadband World Forum Asia, being held in Hong Kong.

PCCW will begin broadcasting programming from its IPTV service, now TV, to its 3G mobile trial customer base, using the CMB technology. The technology, developed by Huawei Technologies, allows broadcasts of television programming to 3G phones, states an official release.

The service is being progressively rolled out throughout Hong Kong, with deployment begun in Hong Kong's MTR underground railway system nearly complete. Deployment throughout Hong Kong will be completed by end-June, making mobile TV available to all 110,000 users on PCCW mobile's 3G trial, the release adds.

"This is a significant innovation by PCCW, allowing us to leverage our extensive content line-up to more people, across more of our platforms, fixed and mobile," PCCW executive director Alex Arena said. "We are excited to bring this groundbreaking 3G technology to our customers - another world first for us."

CMB technology allows continuous broadcast feeds of TV programming over the 3G mobile network, reaching many more people simultaneously than other current 3G technologies. The technology is ideal for high density urban areas, including underground railways and other forms of public transport. With broadcast technology, network capacity can support large numbers of concurrent users with minimal impact on the network loading, allowing for cost-effective delivery.

Initial program offers over the mobile network will include now TV's Cantonese-language Business News Channel and other news and sports content. Other entertainment and infotainment programming will be added in time. Sports content from ESPN STAR Sports will be available in two weeks time, including ESPN's ever-popular SportsCenter news program. Sports event content from Sportev, including action, from next season's Barclays English Premier League (2006-07), will be available when the football season begins in August, the release informs.

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