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Carphone interested in mobile TV?

Carphone Warehouse, Sky and Channel 4 could all be seeking to get into the UK’s mobile TV business according to a document released by Ofcom late last week.

The communications watchdog said it has received two applications for the Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) national radio multiplex licence, which will allow the licensees to broadcast of a number of radio services as well as other applications, including mobile television.

One of the applicants for the licence is the 4 Digital Group, which is 55 per cent owned by Channel 4, 10 per cent by Carphone and 10 per cent by Sky News. Other shareholders include Emap, UTV Radio and UBC Media.

Using a network of 174 transmitters, the group is targeting coverage of 86.6 per cent of the adult population of the UK.

The other applicant is National Grid Wireless, which proposes to use a network of 40 transmitters, which it estimates will provide outdoor coverage of 71 per cent of the adult population of the UK.

Ofcom intends to make an award decision within four months. The service will be able to launch any time from the beginning of 2008, once the spectrum for this licence becomes available.

UK MVNO, Virgin Mobile, launched the UK’s first mobile TV service using the existing DAB IP network in October. The service has been criticised for quality issues and had only attracted 7,000 users as of mid-January.


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