Mobile TV trial disappoints

13 Jan 2006

The UK’s first major trial of broadcast signal mobile TV services has found little demand for customers to watch programmes on their handsets. BT and Virgin Mobile spent six months trialling DAB-IP mobile TV with 1,000 users in Greater London, but found that whilst 59% of respondents rated the service as ‘appealing’ or ‘very appealing’, the majority are only prepared to pay around GBP5 a month for the privilege, less than half the price the pair had hoped to charge. Whilst 3G operators Orange, Vodafone and H3G already offer UK consumers TV via their 3G mobile handsets, the BT-Virgin Mobile trial was the first of its kind to use so-called ‘real broadcast’ technology. The DAB-IP service uses IP technology and part of the digital radio spectrum to stream signals direct to handsets separate of mobile telephony networks. Virgin Mobile hopes to launch DAB-IP services commercially this summer, with BT set to follow soon after.