Press Office

Thursday 27 Nov 2014

Press Release

World Service in English, BBC Persian, BBC Somali and BBC Urdu radio now available in US on any mobile phone

BBC World Service has further expanded the availability of its live radio broadcasts via mobile phones in the United States.

The extension of the BBC's agreement with provider of mobile phone radio distribution in North America, AudioNow, means that now, in addition to BBC Arabic radio, BBC World Service's broadcasts in English, Persian, Somali and Urdu are now available across the US via any mobile phone without downloads or data services, simply by calling a national access number.

Building on the success of the 24/7 availability of BBC Arabic radio on US phones, launched earlier this year, World Service has added further international radio news programming to the service. The development of partnership between World Service and AudioNow will expand the content for mobile listeners:

  • BBC World Service in English is now available live to listeners in the US 24 hours a day, every day, by calling 7124326580
  • on-demand news programming from BBC Persian can be accessed by calling 7124326583
  • on-demand news programming from BBC Urdu can be accessed by calling 7124326584
  • on-demand news programming from BBC Somali can be accessed by calling 7124326582

While the service is free to callers in the US, listeners should check their mobile phone contracts for any additional charges.

Simon Kendall, Head of Business Development, BBC Global News, says: "We are delighted that more BBC World Service multilingual programming is now available to audiences in the US - in English, Persian, Somali or Urdu - thanks to our agreement with AudioNow. While we already have significant English-speaking and diaspora audiences listening to the BBC via web-streaming on their PCs, this service takes our connectivity to a different level and provides a more flexible and convenient service for audiences. We have been impressed by the take-up of BBC Arabic via the AudioNow service, and this arrangement builds on that success."

Elan Blutinger, Managing Director of AudioNow, says: "Listening to the BBC in the United States should be as simple as pressing a single speed dial button for the more than 80% of the market that do not access data services on their phones. BBC's rich content will now be available to every mobile phone listener simply by calling a single number without downloads or the need to access data services."

Commenting on the launch of on-demand Persian, Somali and Urdu broadcasts, AudioNow's Chief Technology Officer, Marcel Barbulescu, says: "The service was developed in response to the growing demand by mobile listeners for instant access to regularly updated pre-recorded audio programming of sports, news, radio and online news content, without having to download audio files. Our broadcast radio partners can now expand distribution of their pre-recorded audio content including podcasts to any mobile phone, simply, and at virtually no cost."

For details of programming, go to;;; or

BBC World Service Publicity

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