Thursday, September 07, 2006

BT Movio kept under wraps or were we just not on the ball?

This morning it was announced that BT is to launch its 'Movio' television-to-your-mobile service through Virgin Mobile in the UK on October 1st. Owners of the new 'Lobster' phone (about time we named our consumer electronics after animals) will be able to watch BBC1, ITV1 and Channel 4 on their phone. They won't even have to pay for this to be streamed over 3G as it will cleverly use a modification to the Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) standard which permits it to use IP and stream video over the airwaves. Users will also get 50 audio radio stations as a by-product.

What I find interesting though is how BT cleverly kept this convergence of technologies under wraps to seemingly steal a march on the competition. I, for one, am a technologist who didn't see this coming as soon as it has. As recently as July (just 55 days ago) BT were reporting their satisfaction at the revision to the DAB standards and the ability for them to mix and match with 3G, WLAN and DVB-H. I simply did not put the pieces together and realise the impact of what they were saying. There was no suggestion of the service going live within several months (a heart beat in consumer electronics development).

Was this intentional or had the marketing people just not got to grips with the concept?

I must admit to being a little confused as to whether the TV data comes through a digital radio receiver or through the GSM/3G reciever (there are mixed reports out there), but I'm happy to play the consumer and celebrate the results.

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