By Emmanuel Elebeke
Mobile telecommunications Giant, Nokia and Digital Mobile Television (DMTV), a subsidiary of Multichoice last weekÂ signed a memoranda of understanding (MOU) on mobile TV services. With theÂ partnership, consumers can now watch DStvâ€™s menu of TV programs and sports from certain Nokia mobile phones at no cost for the next 12 months.
It was also revealed that Nokia and DMTV are to partner with MTN in this synergy and this will see only MTN subscribers in Nigeria access Mobile TV through Digital Video Broadcast Handheld (DVB-H)-enabled Nokia phones.
To receive the DStv Mobile service, theÂ 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 subscription at home and offices.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos, Marketing Manager Multichoice Nigeria, Donald EtimÂ said â€œActivating the Mobile TV service is easy, as subscribers only needed 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 Nokiaâ€™s dominance in the Nigeria marketâ€.
The DStv Mobile broadcast covers Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan, though reception signals may vary outside the metropolis.â€
A boutÂ nine channels is available for the subscribers They 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 the service, including Big Brother Africa, which will begin broadcast on 24th August with the start of the selection process.
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 resumes in August.
To celebrate the signing of the partnership, a promotion which comes with 12 months DStv mobile access is being run. forÂ MTN subscribers who purchase any DVB-H enabled Nokia handset and activate the DStv Mobile service. They will enjoy the service free for 12 months starting from the time of activation. 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 to enjoy the service.
â€œThis is an exciting time for mobile convergence in Africa,â€
â€œWe are especially pleased that NokiaÂ 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,â€ said Philip De La Vega, General Manager, Nokia Nigeria.
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.
On reason behind the introduction, Etim said the partnership with MTN and Nokia was an indication of the companiesâ€™ responsiveness to customer needs and devotion to continually improve service delivery and international best practices. He assuredÂ 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 authorised outlets and come with 12-months warranty and after sales service.
DVB-H Handheld is regarded as the worldâ€™s leading mobile broadcast technology standard and allows for digital terrestrial broadcast 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, while 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.
It improves robustness in difficult reception environments, whether indoor or outdoor and lowers battery power consumption in mobile phones.