Orange launches mobile, broadband TV

Soon, Orange customers will be able to manage TV content on their mobile phones

Mobile operator Orange is looking to turn its handsets into TV remote controls in a bid to challenge rival quad-play provider Virgin Media .

Orange is currently developing technology that will enable customers to program their digital video recorders on the move using their mobile phones. The joined-up service will also be able to transfer pictures and music stored on a computer, or TV channels available at home, to mobile phone handsets.

An Orange spokesman said the company is hoping to launch the broadband service in the UK in the third quarter of 2007. aims to enable its customers to transfer content between their computers, TVs and mobile phones - and access it on the move - during the next two years.

Eric Abensur, head of Orange's home services, said: "When you buy content you should be able to watch that content wherever you want to, whether that is on your TV, on your PC or on your mobile."

He added that Orange's service will be different from rival mobile remote control offerings from Sky and 3 in that it will be developed and delivered in-house. It will also include a search function where users can type in a keyword and receive information on relevant articles, music, photos, videos or forthcoming events.

So-called quad play services - digital TV, broadband, fixed-line and mobile phone services - are already being offered by BT , Sky , and Virgin Media.

France Telecom , Orange's parent company, launched a TV service in its home market three years ago, and now has some 600,000 TV subscribers in Europe.