Mobile operator O2 and transmission group Arqiva are to conduct the first consumer trial of DVB-H broadcast mobile TV in Ireland. After an initial pilot in December the full eight-month trial will launch in January 2007 with 400 O2 customers in Dublin. Triallists will access broadcast channels—and interact with a music and games channel—using Nokia N92 handsets.
The Ireland trial follows O2 and Arqiva's DVB-H broadcast mobile TV trial in Oxford last year. That trial of 375 O2 subscribers showed an average viewing duration of 23 minutes per session, with one to two sessions per day; 83% of triallists were happy with the 16-channel service, and 76% said they would take it up if offered over the next year.
O2 Ireland CEO Danuta Gray said: "O2 is delighted to be first in Ireland to trial live broadcast television to customers on their mobile phones. This latest innovation in the wider communications sector is set to play a key role in the future of mobile technology.
"Mobile television will greatly enhance the range of services to users and is an exciting progression towards the mobile phone becoming a more advanced, multi-faceted communications tool. The convergence of mobile phones and broadcast media also offers business opportunities for the organisations involved in both sectors and will no doubt lead to exciting initiatives in the future".
Pat Walls, Arqiva's general manager Ireland, said: "Arqiva has considerable experience in mobile broadcasting, having taken part in a range of trials across a variety of standards in the UK. We look forward to making the most of this experience to bring mobile TV to consumers in Ireland."
Earlier this year, O2 was awarded the licence to run trials involving the broadcast of live television programming through mobile phones. The licence was awarded by ComReg, Ireland's communications regulator.
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