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Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Turn your mobile into a TV

O2 and NTL have joined forces to test the feasibility of watching TV over mobile phones.

Five hundred O2 customers in Oxford will be treated to 16 different TV channels, with the usual mix including soaps, sports and music. There will also be 'specialist channels' available, with shopping and gaming.

The partnership hasn't announced which channels the punters will be able to get on their handsets but said it will unveil the details before the trial starts - scheduled to be around spring next year.

Sony and Nokia will also be getting in on the act, supplying the hardware to enable Oxford's residents to get square-eyed on the move. The two have been involved in the creation of the DVB-H standard for TV to mobile transmissions and will be giving Oxford's guinea pigs their experimental handsets.

The service will also be using Nokia's e-commerce interface and service system.

The TV-over-mobile venture is intended as a testing-the-waters exercise for the companies. It's being run on a small scale - coverage will reach some 120 square kilometres in the Oxford area, with no fixed timescale set for the trial.

While operators like 3 have already been offering video downloads for 3G customers - typically short clips such as football highlights - Dave Williams, mmO2's CTO said that TV over mobile would complement existing 3G video services.

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