[LINK] Telstra in first on mobile TV
brd at iimetro.com.au
brd at iimetro.com.au
Fri Sep 15 11:56:28 EST 2006
Don't you just love news articles that start: "Telstra will undermine the
federal Government's ...."?
With friends like that, who needs enemies....?
Telstra in first on mobile TV
SEPTEMBER 15, 2006
TELSTRA will undermine the federal Government's much-vaunted media reforms by
offering its customers up to 12 pay-TV channels delivered straight to their
mobile phones from as early as next month.
According to internal company documents, customers will be able to pay about $10
a month for a package of Foxtel channels including Sky News, Disney, TV1, Fox
Sports, the Comedy Channel and the MTV music channel.
Customers will need to buy a new phone to receive the channels, with Telstra
initially using Samsung, LG and little-known Chinese supplier ZTE.
The move, part of Telstra's new $1.1 billion next-generation mobile network,
will severely crimp attempts by Communications Minister Helen Coonan to auction
a band of digital spectrum for mobile TV services.
There are no rules on who can bid for the spectrum but newspaper publishers
Fairfax Media and News Limited, which owns The Australian, want the existing
commercial TV stations barred from the auction.
Industry insiders say it would cost at least $100 million to build a network to
deliver mobile TV to phones and other devices.
Australia's four mobile phone networks already offer some mobile-TV streaming
services. But the next generation of mobile networks with superior data speeds,
offer the chance for a broader suite of TV services.
Telstra is planning to take the wraps off its new network ahead of the
Government's October 9 launch of its $8 billion Telstra share sale. It will
launch its mobile TV network with new video, audio and picture services.
The proposed service, which the company hopes will be available to 96 per cent
of the population when it is launched, will offer up to 12 channels including a
preview channel for Foxtel's Box Office movie service. Foxtel is 50 per cent
owned by Telstra, with the Packer family's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd and
News Limited each holding 25 per cent.
The launch could be delayed if the companies providing Telstra with network
technology cannot meet the target of covering 96 per cent of the population.
While Telstra will initially run the Foxtel channels over standard
third-generation mobile technology, the company last month put out a tender out
to its technology partners for a bigger mobile TV platform that would not need
the Government's new mobile TV spectrum.
There are two main competing mobile TV technology platforms: DVB-H, which uses
the Government's spectrum, and MBMS, which uses existing mobile phone spectrum.
"DVB-H spectrum could be left underused, with mobile operators opting to go the
MBMS path and try to maintain control over their content offering," IDC analyst
Landry Fevre said.
Senator Coonan's media changes have been widely criticised by organisations
including News Limited for continuing a 50-year government protection of the
three free-to-air television networks.
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