NTL Broadcast and O2 have revealed the first batch of channels to be part of their forthcoming mobile TV trial in the Oxford area, announcing an initial 16 channels including Cartoon Network, CNN, Discovery Channel, Sky Sports News and Sky Travel.
The six-month trial will roll out to 350 O2 customers using the new trialled in Finland.
Dave Williams, O2’s chief technology officer, saw the mic and clicked into action: “We believe that mobile broadcast TV has the potential to sit alongside our existing customer services based on GPRS (2.5G) and 3G mobile data networks. Mobile broadcast TV aims to be a cost effective method for transmitting high quality content from one source to multiple customers whereas 3G is ideal for providing bespoke content to users.”
Terry Howard, head of media business development at NTL Broadcast, also fancied a bit of quote action: “This trial will give a useful insight into how the new technology performs, and we intend to use that information to inform the broadcasters, mobile operators and Ofcom about the consumer appeal of the service. We look forward to welcoming other channel providers and terrestrial broadcasters on board for the trial.”
To support the trial, NTL Broadcast is building a new broadcast network of eight DVB-H transmitters to cover 120 square km around Oxford that will enable the lucky participants to receive digital television on the move. To enable a commercial service to be launched in the UK, Ofcom will need to license spectrum and O2 is already lobbying the UK regulator to bring forward plans to distribute radio frequencies for mobile TV services.
O2 will soon begin the process of recruiting triallists from the Oxford catchment area: but young ‘uns, silver surfers, crumblies and grannies need not apply: O2 is restricting insisting that participants be between 18 and 45 years of age. The ageists!