The ability to watch live television via your mobile phone could soon be a universally available feature as various UK network providers announce that they are testing out new technology.
In the UK, the relationship between live TV and the mobile phone has been rocky, with previous attempts to capture the public’s attention failing to make an impact. This is in opposition to various other nations, including South Korea, where mobile TV is far more widespread.
Reports now suggest that O2, Vodafone and Orange are all going to trial mobile TV technology in the Autumn of 2010. Rather than integrating digital tuners into existing handsets, the firms are going to make use of previously untapped regions of the 3G network spectrum.
Although all smartphones use 3G for mobile internet access, the providers are hoping that by harnessing a new part of the spectrum, they will not be impacting upon the standard mobile use of the majority of users whilst being able to offer high quality TV streams to some.
None of the networks has actually explained how the mobile TV service will operate and whether it will be compatible with current smartphones via a software update. There is also no news as to whether subscribers will need to pick inclusive mobile TV time in addition to minutes and texts when they sign up for a new deal, or whether it will be simply integrated into existing data usage tariffs without the need for change.