updated 04:00 pm EST, Tue February 14, 2006
Virgin Mobile TV service
Virgin Mobile today became the first European cellular operator to deliver live TV to its customers, a move that could impact the Apple's own move into the digital video world with the iTunes Music Store video. Virgin partnered with Microsoft and wireless technology firm BT to provide both audio and video content using new broadcast technologies, according to a report from CIO Today. "We are at a point where the industry is looking at new ways to leverage the technology in their new handsets," IDC analyst Dave Linsalata said. "Certainly, smartphones won't replace TV sets, but the popularity of mobile games and ringtones indicates that people are using the devices for more than making calls." Virgin is using BT's Movio system, which is based on the digital audio broadcasting (DAB) standard. The company is also offering a new "smartphone" that is optimized for TV viewing, which it calls the Trilogy. Customers will have access to a variety of digital TV content and approximately 350 DAB stations, according to the report.