Virgin Mobile is to be the first mobile operator to allow its customers to view live TV on their handsets after signing a deal with BT and Microsoft.
Virgin is to use the BT Movio broadcast digital TV and radio service to deliver content to its customers’ phones.
The content will be delivered using existing digital audio broadcasting (DAB) technology, meaning the company’s existing mobile network will not become congested with high bandwidth video content.
Virgin and its partners have developed the Trilogy phone to receive the content, which is world’s first DAB-IP enabled Smartphone. The phone was shown at this week’s 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona.
Virgin Mobile said it will start offering the broadcast service later this year, although it is not clear exactly how many users will initially be given access to the content.
Those able to recieve it will have access to a wide range of digital TV content and more than 350 DAB digital radio stations nationwide, broadcasting 24 hours a day.
Graeme Hutchinson, Virgin Mobile sales and marketing director, said, “Virgin Mobile customers will be the first people in Europe to watch real broadcast TV over their mobile phones. It’s not downloaded, it’s not looped, but real TV just like you get at home, using crystal clear DAB sound.”
BT has developed a strategic relationship with Microsoft to enable a secure and efficient environment for delivering broadcast services on a mobile handset.
Microsoft's Windows Media technologies, including Windows Media Video and Windows Media Audio Pro, enable BT Movio to deliver high-quality audio and video content over the DAB network using minimal bandwidth.
The BT Movio service also incorporates Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology to ensure secure delivery of premium video and music content.
BT Movio will be available to other mobile operators at a later date.