BT says its four-month pilot of broadcast digital television to mobile phones has demonstrated clear consumer demand for mobile TV.
Two-thirds of customers would be prepared to pay up to £8 per month for the BT Movio service—formerly known as BT Livetime—said BT, which now plans a commercial launch for the service later this year.
The Movio service uses Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) spectrum. Users navigate the service using a DAB-delivered electronic programme guide (EPG).
The pilot, conducted with mobile operator Virgin Mobile, broadcast digital television and digital radio via a DAB-IP enabled smartphone to 1,000 users in the M25 area.
Just under three quarters of the participants said they would be prepared to pay for the service on their current network if the service was priced competitively; 38% were prepared to switch networks to receive the service.
Over three quarters of the pilot users tuned into digital TV and radio on their mobile on a weekly basis or more often, with the average length of TV viewing being more than one hour per week.
A large proportion of pilot users stated that they want up to five types of mobile TV channels including a combination of news, sport, comedy, sitcoms and music, said BT. Digital radio also proved to be extremely popular with pilot users tuning in on average for over one and a half hours every week.
BT Movio MD Emma Lloyd said: "It is clear from the very positive feedback we have had from the pilot that BT Movio will be in high demand from mobile users and operators alike. We are in commercial discussions with mobile operators about launching a consumer service after the launch of the wholesale service later this year.
Graeme Hutchinson, sales and marketing director of Virgin Mobile, said: "We're really excited about digital mobile TV. It offers consumers the opportunity to stay tuned to their favourite programmes—wherever they are—and to watch them in a new, convenient and exciting way.
"Digital Mobile TV is one of the most consumer-friendly developments ever seen in the mobile industry—everyone watches TV—and with BT Movio, Virgin Mobile can offer a service that includes all that's brilliant about modern digital television, such as a personal electronic programme guide, on a mobile phone."
Mobile operator O2 is expected to announced results of its mobile television trial next week. Its pilot, in Oxford, delivers television channels using the DVB-H standard.
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