Press Office

Saturday 19 Apr 2014

Press Release

BBC Urdu launches single number for news on all Pakistan mobile phone networks

Mobile phone users across Pakistan can now listen to news and sports bulletins from BBC Urdu on their phones via the dedicated short code 447474. By calling the number, subscribers to any mobile phone network in Pakistan can now choose between the BBC's one-minute news or sports bulletins on demand.

The BBC bulletins are updated throughout the day and the number of updates will increase if there is a breaking news story. Calls cost 3 Rupees per minute.

Head of BBC Urdu, Aamer Ahmed Khan, says: "Pakistan is among the world's most dynamic news markets, evidenced by the success of our news bulletins through our partner FM stations.

"We are confident that our mobile news offer will be similarly welcomed in the country's highly competitive market because of the credibility and quality associated with the BBC Urdu brand."

BBC World Service Business Development Manager for South Asia, Helen Kathuria, adds: "The BBC is always looking for ways to reach our audiences – with people's changing lifestyles it's especially important for us to reach people in ways that suit them.

"For the first time, we are able to offer on-demand news to everyone in Pakistan with a mobile phone, regardless of the network they are using."

There are about 100 million mobile phone subscribers in Pakistan.

Notes to Editors

BBC Urdu broadcasts two times a day for an hour and a half. Its flagship programme Sairbeen (20.00 Pakistan time) provides 60 minutes of news and current affairs.The largest Urdu-language news website in the world and its mobile version offers up-to-the minute news, features and analysis on South Asia and the rest of the world, in text, audio and video.

Its thriving interactive offer includes major debates, forums, blogs, votes etc. BBC Urdu's official channel on YouTube offers video news and features from the BBC's unparalleled global network of correspondents, including BBC Urdu reports covering events and issues of special interest to regional and diaspora audiences.

BBC Urdu is part of BBC World Service, an international multimedia broadcaster delivering 32 language and regional services. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 180 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. Its news sites, which received 7.1 million weekly visitors in September 2010, include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate.

It has around 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices. For more information, visit the BBC World Service website. For a weekly alert about BBC World Service programmes, sign up for the BBC World Agenda e-guide via the BBC World Service website.

The BBC attracts a global audience of 241 million people to its international news services including BBC World Service and the BBC World News television channel.

BBC World Service International Publicity

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