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How keen will consumers be on watching videos on 3G mobile phones?

That's the question Finland's National Consumer Research Centre tried to answer through looking at the experience of a small number of trialists in the Nordic country.

Video on mobile phone have been available in Finland since the back end of last year, albeit through slower speed mobile networks. The National Consumer Research Centre gave packages to a selection of punters of mixed aged groups and asked them to note their viewing habits, alongside comments from their family and friends.

These video diaries revealed that Pia and Mika Public used video to entertain themselves when they were bored or to share experiences. Watching Karaoke videos or cartoons were given as examples of the latter activity.

This comes as little surprise.

However digging down a bit more the report suggests that people, though initially excited at the idea of watching video on their mobiles, quickly grow more blasé about the technology. Also watching mobile vids on public transport disturbed other passengers, sometimes.

Limited content and speeds available during the trial didn't help.

For the record, the 24 study participants were given a Nokia 7650 equipped with RealOpen Player and told to view a mobile video selection supplied by Finnish Elisa.TV. Elisa.TV videos were streamed over a 22Kbps connection, provided by mobile operator Radiolinja.

Comments about poor sound were as come as those about slow downloads, however. Setting up phones to receive MMS messages proven to be tricky for quiet a few.

Despite these niggles, survey participants were prepared to fork our between 10-15 euros per month for unrestricted video access on their mobiles.

Maybe that figure would increase with better content. Survey participants wanted to watch news clips and a wider selection of material on "economic affairs, tourist attractions, sports and pornography."

Oh, missus.

A copy of the study, which aims to "make the voice of the critical consumer heard at the early stages of product development" can be found here. (PDF) ®

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