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International: Sony and Ericsson in mobile TV partnership

29-November-2006
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International: Sony and Ericsson in mobile TV partnership

Sony and Ericsson are to extend their mobile handset partnership to develop TV-based services for mobiles and broadband-enabled devices. The partnership will focus on the concept of transferring content from one device to another, so DVD players, TVs, games consoles and other home electronic devices could 'talk' to each other through wireless networks.

Users would be able to use their mobiles to access content from their home computer, or a parent could grant access to a pay-TV service for their child using their mobile.

The Ericsson director of product strategy and portfolio management, Per Nordlof, said: "Broadband TV will be an important factor. Most telecom operators realise they will have to offer TV in order not to lose customers."

Ericsson predicts that mobile TV will be mass market within two years, with 30% of phone users regularly watching TV services, Mr Nordlof said.

Motorola launched a similar system in the US this summer called Follow Me TV, allowing users to transfer content between different devices at home and on the move.

However, earlier this week, the Channel 4 chief executive, Andy Duncan, said he expected the future of portable TV would not be on mobiles, but on other handheld devices.

Speaking at a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch on Wednesday, Mr Duncan said: "I expect portable TV to take off, but not necessarily through mobiles - more through things like Microsoft's new Zoom player."

Earlier this week, Ericsson announced a deal with Belgian mobile operator Proximus to provide software that will support its mobile TV services.

Ericsson will supply a one-click channel selection tool, as well as various technical support services.

There are thought to be 2.5 billion mobile phone users worldwide - with around 61m handsets in the UK alone.

Source: MediaGuardian

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