Mobile operator O2 and transmission group Arqiva have launched their trial of broadcast mobile television using the DVB-H standard in Ireland. The trial involves 350 O2 subscribers in the Greater Dublin area, equipped with Nokia N92 mobile TV handsets.
Thirteen TV channels are accessible during the trial, which ends in August, including RTE1, RTE2, TV3, Sky Sports, Sky News, Setanta Sports and The Discovery Channel, as well as interactive music and games channels.
The trial is Ireland's first broadcast mobile TV pilot. Some channels, including a music video and a games channel, are interactive. Channels are chosen from an electronic programme guide (EPG) which allows them to search for shows and be reminded when one is due to start.
Gerry McQuaid, commercial director of O2 Ireland, said: "O2 is delighted to be the first mobile operator in Ireland to trial live broadcast television to customers on their mobile phones. Mobile TV will greatly enhance the range of services to users and is an exciting progression in the evolution of mobile entertainment. O2 and Arqiva have already successfully trialed the technology and we now look forward to learning from the 'live' phase, where real O2 customers will experience a completely new world of television viewing on the move and will have the opportunity to give us their feedback on the service."
Hyacinth Nwana, managing director of mobile media solutions at Arqiva, said: "This is proven technology, which has already been shown to have significant consumer demand and we are excited about trialing broadcast mobile TV in Ireland with O2. Arqiva has considerable experience in mobile broadcasting, having taken part in a range of trials across a variety of standards in the UK and we are confident the Irish public will enjoy the experience that broadcast mobile TV offers."
The Ireland trial follows O2 and Arqiva's DVB-H broadcast mobile TV trial in Oxford in 2005. 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 72% indicated they would take up the service within 12 months if it was made commercially available.
Last September rival operator 3 said it too planned a DVB-H mobile TV pilot in Ireland.
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