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Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Nokia to Release TV Phone

The world's top cellphone maker Nokia will start global sales of its new N92 model in Asia in coming weeks, breaking into the potentially lucrative market for phones which receive television broadcasts.

"The device is ready. In coming weeks N92 will start shipping in Vietnam and Indonesia," Nokia spokeswoman Marika Kojo said on Tuesday.

More than 50 million DVB-H phones are expected to be sold by industry players globally by 2010, according to research firm Informa.

Nokia aimed to start selling the phone in the summer of 2006, but it has been waiting for the first commercial launches of networks. The phone has been used in non-commercial trials.

Vietnam Multimedia Corporation said it will launch its commercial service using the DVB-H technology (digital video broadcast - handheld) on November 18 in four towns to users of the Nokia N92 model to be launched in Vietnam this month.

Nokia and many other European vendors favor a homegrown DVB-H for watching television broadcasts on cellphones globally, but there are also rival technologies like DMB and MediaFlo available. ADVERTISEMENT

Mobile operators hope that additional income from mobile TV services, which may generate another 5 to 10 euros of revenues a month from each user, would compensate for declining revenues from voice telephony due to fierce competition and new regulation.

Vietnam Multimedia Corporation said it plans to offer 8 TV channels, including one channel with a TV-on-demand service, and 4 radio channels.

DVB-H is an agreed standard for mobile television, but the way content is protected against piracy can differ between DVB-H networks. Italy has been the first country to open a DVB-H network, but it uses different content protection technology than Nokia.

In Finland, Nokia's home country, network operator Digita said it will start to offer services for Nokia's N92 users on December 1, with the DVB-H network covering mainly the Helsinki region.

Digita, a unit of France's TDF, has signed a 5-year contract with radio group SBS Finland, and Rautio said the company expects further deals with content providers to be signed later this month.

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