Mobile TV looks like it’ll be the flavour of 2006. Orange and 3 have already announced video streams of TV channels to users with 3G phones - and now Vodafone has followed them into the fray. Unlike its rivals, Vodafone actually has an impressive channel line-up thanks to a deal with satellite broadcaster Sky.
The Sky Mobile TV service will stream a choice of 19 channels to Vodafone’s 3G handsets, including Sky Sports News, Sky One, Sky News, Cartoon Network and MTV – and it’ll be free to all Vodafone 3G users until the end of January 2006. You’ll also be able to catch live coverage of every ball in the England cricket tour of Pakistan, beginning with the first Test on 12th November, without spending a penny.
As of next February, Sky Mobile TV will be divided into two ‘packs’ of channels (factual and entertainment), which will cost £5 each every month. The packs will run as follows:
News, Sport & Factual
Sky News; CNN; Bloomberg; Sky Sports News; At The Races; Discovery Factual; National Geographic Channel; History Channel.
Entertainment & Music
Sky One; Sky Movies; MTV; Living TV; Discovery Lifestyle; Nickelodeon; Cartoon Network; Bravo; Biography Channel; Paramount Comedy*
*Paramount Comedy and a second MTV channel will join the line up later in 2006. Additional channels are expected.
The Sky Mobile TV service will work with all Vodafone 3G handsets, and will be exclusive to Vodafone until April 2006 – though it’s not clear whether it will be available on all networks after that date.
What is clear, though, is that Sky Mobile TV goes live tomorrow (Tuesday 1st November), and unlike rival services there are no limitations on the amount you can watch. Oh actually, there is one limitation – your battery life. So we’re guessing you have about two hours.
Vodafone will continue to supply its own video content over 3G, too – from Premiership coverage to ‘mobisodes’ of 24… and, of course, live coverage of Big Brother. Lord save us.