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Norway offers DMB mobile TV for free

Norway launches DMB TV

Norway’s three biggest broadcasters announced the successful launch of six free to air TV channels via DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) on Monday.

The service, launched by the Norwegian Mobile TV Corporation (NMTV), is a joint venture between the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), TV 2 and Modern Times Group (MTG).

Licence-funded broadcaster NRK said that DMB is seen as the best technology in Norway due to its cost efficient coverage of large and rural areas. DMB receivers are also compatible with DAB digital radio that is available to 80 per cent of the population in Norway.

By using a MiniTV receiver or compatible mobile handset, the free to air channels can be received in and around Greater Oslo while on the move.

The TV channels on offer are NRK1, NRK2, NRK3, TV 2, TV 2 News 24 and Viasat TV 3. A further 15 DAB digital radio channels can also be received by all DMB handsets, and additional services providing interactivity, traffic information and on demand programmes will be offered later in 2009.

NMTV’s DMB licence is valid until July 2011 and may be lengthened if the initial period proves a success. Public service broadcaster NRKs channels will remain free to air throughout the period, while the commercial owners TV 2 and MTG are planning to introduce pay TV channels.

With pricing seen as one of the main obstacles, mobile TV has largely failed to gain traction outside of Japan and North Korea, where the free to air terrestrial TV model has proved popular, so it will be interesting to see how well Norway’s offering is received. Both The Netherlands and France will also launch DMB services in 2009.


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