Nokia, MultiChoice, DMTV Partner On Mobile TV

MultiChoice subsidiary,  Digital Mobile  Television (DMTV), and Mobile telecommunications giant, Nokia, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on mobile television services.

As a result of this partnership, consumers can now watch DStv’s menu of TV programmes , which are offered by MultiChoice, from certain Nokia mobile phones at no cost for the next 12 months.

Additionally, Nokia and DMTV are to partner with MTN to enable MTN subscribers in Nigeria access Mobile TV through Digital Video Broadcast Handheld (DVB-H)-enabled Nokia phones.

To receive the DStv mobile service, the subscribers will be required to have a Nokia handset, specially configured to receive DVB-H broadcasts, such as the N96 and N77.

Mobile TV is a technology that allows people to view live television content on their mobile phones or other mobile devices that they ordinarily would only get through traditional cable or pay TV.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos, Marketing Manager MultiChoice Nigeria, Donald Etim said, “activating the Mobile TV service is easy, as subscribers only need to buy a DVB-H enabled handset, insert their MTN SIM card, and activate the service. We are confident that the DStv Mobile service will gain wide acceptance because of Nokia’s dominance in the Nigerian market”. “The DStv Mobile broadcast covers Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Ibadan, though reception signals may vary outside the metropolis.”

About nine channels are available for subscribers to this mobile service. These channels include: CNN, Africa Magic, NTA International, Magic Plus, Supersports 9, Supersports Blitz, Channel O, Cartoon Network, and TBN. According to Etim, other channels are also being considered for this service.

The DStv Mobile service will allow MTN subscribers to watch live matches of the World Cup, English Premier League, and Spanish La Liga games live on DStv Mobile, when the leagues resume in August.

To celebrate the signing of the partnership, the companies are running a promotion of 12 months Free DStv mobile access for MTN subscribers who purchase any DVB-H enabled Nokia handset and activate the DStv Mobile service. Promotional packs are available till 31st December 2009. However, consumers who already own the Nokia N96 and N77 only need to insert their MTN SIM card to enjoy the service.

“This is an exciting time for mobile convergence in Africa,” said Philip De La Vega, General Manager, Nokia Nigeria. “We are especially pleased that Nokia, working together with DMTV and MTN, are able to offer consumers 12 months free access to DStv Mobile when they purchase a compatible DVB-H handset and activate the service. This showcases the enormous advancements in devices technology, now enabling TV on-the-go-for consumers,”

DStv Mobile is currently available on Nokia N96 and N77, because both have an integrated DVB-H receiver. In addition, subscribers can access DStv Mobile on Nokia N79, N85, N86, N97, E75, and Nokia 5800 Xpress Music devices by purchasing a Nokia Mobile TV Receiver SU-33W.

Donald Etim said the partnership with MTN and Nokia was an indication of the companies’ responsiveness to customer needs and devotion to continually improve service delivery and international best practices. Etim assured that the new innovation for Nigerians will become even easier and more affordable, adding that with this development, Nigeria has now joined the first few countries that have a fully commercial DVB-H based mobile service.

Research indicates that mobile phones will remain the central multi-purpose device for the foreseeable future, especially in Africa, outnumbering any other mobile devices like digital media players and pocket PCs.The Nokia N96 and N77, both DVB-H enabled, are available in Nokia authorized outlets and come with 12-months warranty and after sales service.

DVB-H Handheld is regarded as the world’s leading mobile broadcast technology standard and allows for digital terrestrial broadcasting of live television channels to a mobile phone. It differs from 3G Mobile Telephony because DVB-H is a one-to-many transmission on a linear basis and uses broadcasting infrastructure, whereas 3G uses telephony infrastructure that delivers point-to-point services. DVB-H therefore uses scarce bandwidth more effectively. 3G and DVB-H can, however, be complementary, especially in the provision of return path service for live television for instance, viewer voting for TV shows, or similar services. DVB-H improves robustness in difficult reception environments, whether indoor or outdoor, and lowers the battery power consumption of mobile phones.