Digita, MTV, Nelonen, Nokia, Radiolinja, TeliaSonera Finland and YLE together with Finnish authorities pilot IP Datacasting (IPDC), which they see as a promising mobile broadcasting technology to bring TV-like services to mobile devices.

Leading Finnish broadcast, content and mobile communications companies have signed an agreement to start pilot testing a commercial broadcast service to mobile devices. The aim of the pilot is to gain experience about real end-user acceptance for mobile broadcasting services. To gain statistically meaningful results of the end-user acceptance, 500 end-users will be recruited for the pilot set to start next fall within Helsinki metropolitan area.

The pilot will also support ongoing standardisation work and further clarify the regulative and spectrum issues for the planned 4th digital television multiplex in Finland and act as a validation of a functional end-to-end solution for mobile broadcasting services platform. Finland currently has three terrestrial networks (multiplexes) for digital television broadcasting. A fourth digital broadcast network would be reserved for mobile datacasting, i.e. for Internet protocol datacast (IPDC) services based on the emerging DVB-H (handheld) standard. This emerging standard is widely supported by the players in the industry, which promotes the aim to offer consumers cost effective mobile devices and broadcast services.

The business set-up for the pilot will see TeliaSonera Finland and Radiolinja providing access for the protected TV-like services to the end-users. MTV, Nelonen and YLE will produce the content available for the pilot users. Digita will operate the IPDC service system and network. In this role it will manage the services and broadcast them on-air. Nokia will provide the IPDC specific equipment such as the terminals, which enable the devices to receive the broadcast signal.

- Mobile Phone TV is widely seen as a very attractive service for users, commented Liisa Ero, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Finland. - It is great that Finland is proving yet again to be in the forefront of advanced mobile technology and creates an exciting example for the global industry.

Nelonen is part of SanomaWSOY's Electronic Media Division, SWelcom.