SingTel – BT

SingTel tunes in mio TV on the go

SOCCER fans thinking about subscribing to SingTel’s fledgling pay-TV service for the 2009 UEFA Champions League now have another reason to sign up: besides catching the matches on their home TV, they can watch them on a 3G Nokia mobile phone.

From Saturday, SingTel pay-TV customers will be able to view 10 ‘live’ channels plus three with video- on-demand (VOD) on a compatible handset through the ‘mio TV on mobile’ service.

The channels include MediaCorp 8 and ChannelNewsAsia, China’s CCTV4, Dragon TV and Mei Ah, a Cantonese movie channel from Hong Kong. The VOD content is Mom-on-Demand and two channels dedicated to Korean drama series.

‘mio TV on mobile’ is billed as more user-friendly than existing 3G video streaming services offered by all three telcos. Instead of having to log on to a mobile Web portal, consumers simply download an application to their mobile phones.

By launching this tool, they will have access to an electronic guide with up to seven days’ programming information. They can also toggle between channels with the push of a button, much like using a standard remote control, according to SingTel’s vice-president of consumer marketing Wong Soon Nam.

‘What we want to do is to allow for a seamless user experience, whether it’s through the mobile or broadband,’ he told reporters at a briefing yesterday.

One drawback: the new service is supported only on 10 Nokia phone models such as the N76 and N81, but SingTel said more could be down the track.

The mobile programme line-up is extracted from SingTel’s mio TV service, an Internet offering it launched last July in a bid to break StarHub’s dominance of the pay-TV market.

Although mio TV offers nearly 43 channels, only 13 are currently available on its mobile counterpart due to licensing restrictions.

More content will be added and this could include streaming matches from the 2009 UEFA Champions League, Mr Wong hinted. This is because SingTel has secured cross-platform broadcasting rights for the sporting event, which allows it to screen the action over broadband and mobile networks.

Unlike existing 3G video streaming, consumers will not incur separate data charges for tuning in to SingTel’s mobile goggle box. The monthly subscription fee of $9.90 provides access to all 10 live channels and includes data transmission costs.

To entice users to sign up, SingTel is reducing the monthly charge to $6 and users will even get to use the service free until the end of July. This pricing excludes access to VOD content, which is charged at 50 cents per video clip.

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