Two company groups will establish a technology standard and launch consumer trials for delivering television services to mobile phones.
An alliance of major mobile phone makers, including Nokia, NEC, Motorola, Siemens and Sony Ericsson, will cooperate to create a the Mobile Broadcast Services initiative, a standard allowing TV to be watched on several types of devices.
In a separate announcement, British wireless carrier O2 and NTL, said they would start a consumer trial in Oxford, England, early next year, using multimedia handsets made by Nokia.
The mobile TV initiatives come as the mobile phone industry seeks new content services to generate additional revenue streams.
The manufacturers will align their work with other related specifications, such as digital video broadcasting-handheld (DVB-H) and Internet protocol datacasting (IPDC).
Nokia said new phones would be necessary. The phones would need to be able to connect to broadcast transmitters, in addition to mobile base stations. Mobile TV-enabled handsets will be available some time next year.
At last year’s Telecom World 2003 conference and exhibition in Geneva, NEC showed a prototype mobile phone equipped with a receiver for terrestrial broadcast television. The phone, designed to take advantage of digital TV broadcasting services, would allow users to view programs and interact with them.