Major UK network providers are starting to test new technology that will allow live television to be viewed on smartphones with a 3G network connection.
A triumvirate of providers made up of Vodafone, Orange and O2 are partnering in order to trial the service, which could eventually be rolled out across the UK.
The networks are attempting to forge ahead with plans that will harness 3G networks in a manner that will not overload the bandwidth and compromise connections for users who simply want to check their emails.
The integrated mobile broadcast (IMB) service is being tested over three months from October at locations in London and Slough and it will replace the existing mobile TV streaming options which generally cause disruption when several people try and watch these data-intensive services in close proximity to one another.
IMB takes advantage of a portion of the 3G networking spectrum which is currently unutilised and so in theory this should allow mobile TV to be broadcast without impinging on the network's various other uses.
A total of half a billion users would be able to use IMB technology if the tests prove successful and it is subsequently rolled out globally, so these UK providers are clearly aware that the potential revenues are significant.
Luke Ibbetson of Vodafone said: "With the strong growth of data traffic on our 3G networks and the mobile industry's recent support of this high performance broadcast technology, the time is right to move forward with an IMB initiative."
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