BBC announces 3G mobile syndication trial with Orange, Vodafone and 3
The BBC today announced, at the Broadcast Mobile TV Congress, the start of a trial to syndicate a range of its television channels and radio networks via 3G to mobile phones with mobile operators Orange, Vodafone and 3.
The trial, which will last up to 12 months, will allow subscribers to Orange, Vodafone and 3's TV packages to watch BBC One, BBC News 24 and BBC Three (with the exception of some sport and acquired programmes) streamed on their mobiles.
They will also be able to listen to up to eight BBC radio stations including Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, 6 Music, BBC 7 and Asian Network. The trial will start within the month.
Ashley Highfield, BBC Director of Future Media and Technology, said: "By making a range of television channels and radio networks available to 3G mobile phone subscribers, we hope to test, not only the effectiveness of 3G as a means of distribution, but also how audiences respond to the BBC's linear services on their mobiles.
"The findings, combined with quantitative and qualitative consumer research, will inform the BBC's future mobile strategy."
Richard Halton, BBC Controller of Business Strategy, who was speaking at the Broadcast Mobile TV Congress today, said: "The BBC constantly aims to make its content available to as many people in as many ways as possible.
"The mobile platform is a great opportunity for us to reach existing users in a new way and connect better with people who are not currently big users of the BBC.
"The BBC believes that mobile content is an important part of the broadcasting landscape and is looking at ways in which mobile devices will shape services of the future for licence fee payers.
"To this end, the BBC will be undertaking extensive and unique research into consumer behaviour and experience throughout the 3G mobile syndication trial. To date we have done relatively little consumer research in this area, and it will provide us with a detailed insight into consumer behaviour."
Separately, the BBC has also launched an enhanced version of bbc.co.uk/mobile, which is available to all mobile phones with browsers capable of displaying XHTML pages.
Users will benefit from improved navigation and design, with scope in the future for additional functionality.
The enhanced service also includes a redesigned BBC Weather which features Radio 4's The Shipping Forecast.
Notes to Editors
To access the enhanced version of bbc.co.uk/mobile, either text BBC to 81010 or type bbc.co.uk/mobile into your mobile phone's browser. Phones that can display the enhanced version of bbc.co.uk/mobile will be sent to it automatically.
BBC over mobile figures:
Internet users accessing the BBC on their mobile phones and other high-tech gadgets racked up almost 90 million page views, according to the latest figures.
Total page views for the WAP and PDA versions of bbc.co.uk were in excess of 84 million in January 2007.
Mobile usage of the BBC's website has grown 100% year-on-year over the last three years and these figures show the trend continuing.