China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) has launched a mobile broadcasting TV service with eight channels in the city, in hopes to increase revenues and boost data traffic.
The new service, dubbed UTV, allows subscribers of any mobile network in the city to watch customized television programs on smartphones, tablets or even televisions at home.
The service offers two free channels including a 24-hour news service provided by local free TV broadcaster, TVB, and the UOne channel, created by CMHK providing entertainment, food, travel, culture, technology programs as well as user-generated videos.
Paid packages costing HK$58 ($7.50) a month give users access to content including Mei Ah HD Movie Channel, channel M HD, Nat Geo Wild HD, Star Chinese Channel, Cartoon Network, and MNC International.
Smartphone and tablets users, including those using iPhone, can receive the content through a dongle, which costs about HK$500 ($64.50), and does not incur any data transmission fee on the mobile network. With the dongle, users can also watch the programs at home through a HDMI-equipped TV.
Android phone and tablets users can also download an application from the Google Play Store to receive the content through internet streaming. iPhone users, however, will have to wait until next year to get the app, CMHK said.
CMHK CEO Sean Lee said Hong Kong has provided a special test ground for the new service and believed there is room for such services, due to the convergence of mobile and multimedia platforms.
Lee said the company has spent more than a year establishing its mobile TV network, but declined to disclose the amount of money invested in the network.
The company won the broadcasting mobile TV license in 2010 for the operation of mobile TV service in the 678- to 686-MHz band. The network uses China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting (CMMB) technology– a mobile TV standard developed and specified in China by the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT).