Mobile operators Orange and T-Mobile have joined forces to trial a new mobile TV service in London, the two firms announced at Mobile World Congress today.

Using NextWave Wireless’ TDtv service, the new mobile TV broadcast service is to be trialled among people living or working in West London (no specific area was mentioned) in the latter half of the year. The six-month trial will use the same 3G network already in place for mobile phone users for high-speed web browsing.

Cheaper broadcasts

The aim is to show how high quality mobile TV broadcasts and multimedia broadcasts won’t have to be expensive if mobile operators start sharing the available 3G infrastructure, rather than opting for new technology such as DVB-H. There was no word on if, or how much, viewers would pay for the service - that will be decided depending on how successful the trial is.

The service will let the test panel tune in to 24 high-resolution TV channels and 10 digital radio stations on multimedia-enabled WCDMA handsets with chipsets that are able to pick up TV broadcasts.

Mobile TV evolving

"Orange was the first UK network operator to introduce a mobile TV service in May 2005, and is continually looking for unique insights and innovative content to ensure that Orange Mobile TV continues to grow and develop in a way that offers the best available standard of service for our customers,” said Paul Jevons, product and innovation director at Orange.

“The results from the technical trial of TDtv in Bristol last year were extremely encouraging, and this joint pilot of the service in London is an excellent opportunity for us to properly explore the great potential available to our customers from the technology."