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Nokia launches first live DVB-H mobile TV service in Asia

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MUMBAI: Mobile communications firm Nokia and Vietnam Multimedia (VTC) have inked a deal to launch commercial mobile broadcast TV services based on Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld (DVB-H) technology in two Vietnamese cities by the end of the year.

The agreement is Nokia's first commercial mobile TV service rollout in the Asia Pacific region. It is also among the first of Nokia's commercial rollouts globally. Nokia is currently spearheading several trials in the Asia Pacific, Europe and North American countries.

VTC is a broadcaster and operator in digital broadcasting. It will make available its mobile PayTV services to consumer subscribers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Consumers in both cities will be able to enjoy seven digital TV channels as well as a video-on-demand service from a catalogue of selected titles offered by VTC.

The service is available on Nokia's Nseries DVB-H enabled multimedia devices, delivered by the Nokia N92 which will make its debut in Vietnam for this purpose.

For the uninitiated DVB-H, is a broadcast-to-mobile technology which provides reception of the ordinary television broadcasting in digital format on mobile phones and television screens mounted on-board public and private means of transportation. DVB-H was chosen based by Nokia on its merit to support mobility, efficient power management, and DVD quality audio and video services without disturbance.

Up to 50 TV channels can be delivered with low cost, over one network. With extensive pilots of broadcast mobile TV currently taking place across the globe, involving leading broadcasters, mobile
operators, broadcast network operators and handset manufacturers, the market for commercial broadcast services is expected to grow throughout this year.

Mobile TV broadcasting works by receiving a digital TV broadcast signal optimized for mobile devices from the air in much the same way as televisions at home do. Channel guides will also be broadcast allowing users to keep abreast of the latest programmes on air. Broadcast Mobile TV is not the same as a streaming video service over 3G or GPRS where each recipient gets a separate copy of the programme stream. Rather, one simultaneous TV stream can be received at any time by any number of users enjoying high picture quality and low battery power consumption.

VTC director Le Doan Quan said, "The open technology platform solution provided by Nokia resonates with VTC's vision of increasing choice and participation for consumers and other technology providers. Nokia implementation uses the OMA DRM approach for services and content delivery protection thus enabling many additional possibilities such as delivery of ringtones, logos, music, videoclips, games and large file applications, in addition to the ordinary TV programmes."

"This equips VTC with a cost-effective and future-proof platform for driving the development of the vibrant multimedia ecosystem in Vietnam."
Nokia Multimedia Asia Pacific director, experiences Jawahar Kanjilal said, "We are delighted to be part of this great development in Vietnam. This marks the beginning of exciting times in the Asia Pacific broadcasting industry, bringing digital television to consumers' pockets and ushering in a new era of personal interactive entertainment.

"The Nokia N92 multimedia computer will be a key element of this consumer offering, and we look forward to the continuing development of mobile TV services in the region."
Under the agreement, Nokia and VTC are committed to jointly propel the consumer adoption of mobile entertainment services in Vietnam. After taking mobile TV services commercial in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in 2006, VTC plans to extend the coverage to a national level over a two-year period.

In the Asia Pacific, Nokia claims to have spearheaded several mobile TV technology showcases in countries such as Singapore (with Mediacorp & M1), Malaysia (Astro & Maxis), as well as in India and Taiwan. Nokia also participated in many industry-wide events demonstrating simulcast mobile TV content together with players in the media and entertainment industries in Australia.

Nokia is also in the midst of a DVB-H trial first started last July 2005 with the Bridge Networks & Telstra consumers in Sydney. In Europe, Finland, Digita, supported by Nokia, has been awarded an operator license and is working to debut DVB-H mobile TV services soon. Italy has also launched a DVB-H service, while many other regions in the world are expected to follow suit with the commercialisation activity once their own trials are concluded.

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