BT Movio, Virgin Mobile TV service ceases operations

The mobile TV service broadcast over DAB digital radio by the UK’s BT Movio and Virgin Mobile officially ceased operations at midnight last Thursday.

The service, which was broadcast over the Digital One national multiplex, allowed live TV channels to be broadcast over radio to mobile phones. However, BT announced in July last year that following a review of its wholesale solutions, the decision had been made, in consultation with Virgin Mobile, not to continue with the Movio service. It had apparently been having trouble meeting sales goals, as UK consumers’ embrace of the service was less than anticipated.

Feedback from users had been complimentary — with an early pilot showing consumers enjoyed having both mobile TV and DAB digital radio stations on their mobile phones — but the service seemed to have difficulty bringing in enough consumers to warrant continued support and expansion.

Despite the service’s closure, Quentin Howard, CEO of Digital One and, as the head of the WorldDMB Forum, a vocal proponent of DAB-based technologies, said in a statement that he felt the service was still a success, in the sense that it, “confirmed that live digital broadcasting on mobile devices can have consumer appeal,” but admitted that, “subscription-based mobile TV is a complex business to get right and requires widespread take up amongst mobile operators.”

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