Pilot testing of a system to send TV broadcasts to mobile phones will begin next year in Finland, as companies look at gauging user acceptance for such services.
Next autumn, 500 people based in Helsinki will be signed up to the service; the number was decided upon to provide statistically meaningful results for the testing programme.
The pilot scheme is also seen as providing support to ongoing work in the area of standards. It is also expected to clarify further regulatory and spectrum issues. Finland currently has three terrestrial digital TV networks. A fourth is being reserved for mobile datacasting, that is, for datacast services over internet protocol (IPDC). This will be based on the emerging DVB-H (handheld) standard.
As part of the deal, mobile phone maker Nokia is supplying the IPDC-compatible equipment that will enable user devices to receive the special TV broadcast signals. Other participants in the test phase include the mobile operators TeliaSonera Finland and Radiolinja; both will provide access for protected TV-like services to users. TV stations MTV, Nelonen and YLE will provide content for the service. Digita, an IT provider to media companies, will operate the IPDC network, managing and broadcasting on-air.
By Gordon Smith