MobiTV says user base exceeds 2m

01 Mar 2007

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) MobiTV, which transmits cable TV channels to cell phones, said it has surpassed 2 million users, doubling its subscriber base in less than a year.

The service, first launched more than three years ago by Sprint, features real-time feeds of cable channels such as CNN, CNBC, Fox News Channel and The Weather Channel, as well as made-for-mobile broadcasts from the likes of ESPN and ABC News.

MobiTV sometimes comes bundled with a cellular carrier's wireless Internet plans; if purchased separately it costs $10 a month or more, in addition to the carrier's data charges.

In addition to Sprint, the service is now offered by more than 30 wireless carriers. These include AT&T's Cingular Wireless and Alltel in the US, as well as Hutchison Whampoa's 3 and France Telecom's Orange in the United Kingdom.

MobiTV has won subscribers despite the unreliable download speeds of cellular networks, which can make the picture stutter and jump, rendering the experience more like a slide show than full-motion video.

Despite its growth, however, MobiTV is due to face new competition this year from TV networks being launched specifically for cell phones.

Both Cingular and Verizon Wireless, jointly owned by Verizon and Vodafone, plan to offer live TV through MediaFlo, a wireless network built by Qualcomm.

© 2007 The Associated Press

© 2007 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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