Lobster goes to pot: Virgin Mobile TV to end Jan 2008

27 Jul 2007

Virgin Mobile is pulling the plug on its Virgin Mobile TV service from early next year. Although an exact date is still to be decided, Virgin Mobile said the mobile TV service would run at least until the end of January. The operator’s announcement comes after BT Movio – which supplies the mobile TV service wholesale to Virgin Mobile – cancelled its broadcast TV contract with GCap Media. The reasons for closure have not been confirmed by Virgin Mobile, but a poor take-up of the service, which was the UK’s first over the air broadcast mobile TV service when it launched in October 2006, seems the likely reason. Virgin Mobile’s Mobile TV service was launched with just one handset available, the HTC -built Lobster 700TV . The Windows Mobile -powered smartphone was intended to be the first of a range of handsets using DAB-IP broadcasting technology to receive the five-channel TV service (which included BBC1, ITV1 and Channel4). However, no further DAB-IP capable handsets have been added by Virgin Mobile and the larger-than-average Lobster 700TV has not exactly flown off the shelves.

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), Virgin Mobile UK