Singapore to air Asia's phone drama series

A Singapore television station will air a romantic drama series on third-generation mobile phone handsets this month in what will be a first for Asia, Reuters reported.

The 30-episode Chinese drama series, produced by state-owned television firm Mediacorp and media regulator Media Authority of Singapore, will be released in three-minute episodes on 3G mobile phones at the end of June before being aired as a 90-minute television program by the start of 2006.

Titled “PS I Luv U,” the series —which features Taiwanese actors—will also be streamed by regional telecom operators on mobile handsets in other parts of Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia, Mediacorp said.

The production company said it plans to produce at least 10 3G drama series totaling over 200 mini-episodes next year.

Across the world, broadcast and cable networks have jumped on to the 3G bandwagon, rushing to churn out content for mobile phones and collaborating with telecom operators to provide entertainment clips that can be aired over the wireless network.

Fox Entertainment in May 2005 launched several series of “mobisodes”—television programs whittled down to one-minute episodes and designed specifically for the mobile medium. In 2001, Japan’s NTT DoCoMo launched its 3G service. But the service was not as successful as was expected because of poor geographical coverage, sluggish feeds and pricey handsets.

However, with faster wireless broadband connections telecom operators believe video-streaming could be a “killer application” for 3G, with the potential to pull in billions of dollars in revenue.

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