UK Network Providers Test Mobile TV Service

Top UK mobile phone companies are testing a new mobile TV broadcast service that will allow their customers to watch TV on their handsets.

Vodafone, O2 and Orange have teamed up to test the platform for a period of three months, aiming to determine if the TV service will jam the exiting mobile 3G network, which is already used by customers to access e-mail and download media content.

The companies are working together with IPWireless, Ericsson and Streamezzo to test the integrated mobile broadcast (IMB) in west London and Slough.

The UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper reports that UK mobile operators already operate their own separate mobile TV services, but that their networks suffer from a shortage of bandwidth if a large number of users access the services in the same area.

The integrated mobile broadcast (IMB) utilises frequencies acquired by the companies when the UK Govenment auctioned off 3G network wavebands.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Luke Ibbetson, head of technology research and development at Vodafone, said: “With the strong growth of data traffic on our 3G networks and the mobile industry's recent support of this high-performance broadcast technology, the time is right to move forward with an IMB initiative.”