A consortium of firms, including Nokia, MTV and YLE (The Finnish Broadcasting Company), has launched a trial of Europe's first mobile TV service.
The group will give test users access to MTV, YLE and Nelonen programmes, as well as international theme channels such as CNN, BBC World, Euronews, Eurosport, ViVa Plus and Fashion TV.
The pilot will be conducted in Finland and is scheduled to continue until 20 June 2005. The trial service aims to test the mobile TV services and consumer access, as well as the underlying technology, with 500 users in the Helsinki region.
Selected from existing Finnish mobile phone customers, the test users are able to view real-time TV and radio programmes on a Nokia 7710 smartphone equipped with a special accessory to receive mobile TV broadcasts.
The Nokia smartphone also enables direct links to the internet for access to information on TV programmes or sports results.
Mobile firms Elisa and Sonera are responsible for customer service, invoicing and connections to the new interactive supplementary services.
Digita has designed and built the digital TV network needed for the distribution of mobile TV services and will manage the network, while Nokia will develop the mobile TV service management and smartphones that can receive the broadcasts.
The test uses IP Datacasting, which conforms with the DVB-H standard. At the end of 2004, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute adopted DVB-H as the standard for European mobile TV services, enabling the simultaneous transmission of several TV, radio and video channels to mobile devices.
The test has so far showed that people like to watch mobile TV in cars and other means of transport, and in public places such as cafes. Watching mobile TV at home and in the workplace was also common.
The test users were found to be most interested in news, weather, sports, current issues, entertainment, drama and comedy.
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