Mobile TV not 3G

Virgin Mobile will become the first mobile operator in Europe to offer its customers digital TV and radio content on a mobile device using broadcast technology.

Mobile television has been the talk of 3GSM World Congress, the international mobile trade show being held in Barcelona this week. However, in what must be a blow to a trade fair boasting the benefits of 3G mobile telephony, the new UK offering shuns UMTS in favour of the Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) spectrum.

Virgin’s new service, dubbed the Trilogy, will be delivered on BT’s Movio platform. The DAB-IP enabled Smartphone was developed through a collaboration with Microsoft and HTC.

BT says “The new service is a true broadcast rather than a one-to-many unicast. With this service you will be able to watch EastEnders as it is shown at 8 pm rather than suffering congestion for a popular broadcast or a download delay.”

Virgin Mobile will offer the broadcast service on a limited exclusive basis to its customers later this year giving its customers access to a wide range of digital TV content and more than 350 DAB digital radio stations nationwide broadcasting twenty-four hours a day.

Virgin is currently the subject of a £920 million potential offer by cable group NTL.