Norway launches mobile TV via DMB

By Robert Briel

Norway has launched a mobile TV platform using the DMB system to broadcast six free-to-air channels. The Norwegian Minister of Culture, Trond Giske, opened the MiniTV service.

Launched by the Norwegian Mobile TV Corporation (NMTV), MiniTV is a joint venture between the three largest broadcasters in Norway: the public broadcaster NRK, TV 2 and Modern Times Group (MTG).
By using a MiniTV receiver, the live channels can be viewed in and around Greater Oslo. Last summer, Norway decided to adopt the DMB standard for mobile TV broadcast .

“The fact that three broadcasters together are building a new service while competing on content is groundbreaking. NMTV delivers MiniTV on the terms of the users, not only mobile phone TV.” said Gunnar Garfors, CEO of NMTV, in a statement.

The TV channels offered are NRK1, NRK2, NRK3, TV 2, TV 2 News 24 and Viasat TV3. In addition 15 DAB digital radio channels can also be received by all DMB handsets. Additional services providing interactivity, traffic information and on-demand programmes will be offered later in 2009.
NMTV’s DMB licence is valid until July 2011 and may be extended if the initial period proves a success. The NRK channels will remain free-to-air throughout the period, while the commercial owners TV 2 and MTG are planning to introduce pay-TV channels.

DMB receivers are already on sale in a number of stores throughout the city and new products from other brands are expected in the summer.
TV via DMB is currently available in South Korea, China, Italy and Ghana with tests of the technology taking place in many more countries worldwide. Both The Netherlands and France will also launch DMB in 2009. The service in Holland will be launched by Mobiele TV Nederland and will be in competition with the DVB-H platform operated by KPN.