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French to enjoy 50 mobile TV channels

Orange ups the ante

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Cellco Orange is driving up its French mobile TV services and has now reach 60 channels, according to supplier satellite services company Globecast.

David Justin, Senior VP Marketing and Product Development at Globecast told us at the IBC conference in Amsterdam this week: “We aggregate the content and provide our own 3GPP compatible encoder for Orange and now they have asked us to take this up to 50 TV channels and 11 radio channels.”

Previously the Orange system was based around 20 channels. The delivery of the service is across Orange’s expensive 3G network rather than being fed from a separate data casting network such as DVB-H or T-DMB.

“The reason Orange is doing this is because it has to subsidize its video phones far less than any of its other phones. People see video on an advertisement and these ads are four times more effective in selling the service. Effectively the more video channels we add, the less their advertising costs,” said Justin. “There is also a significant churn reduction on video phones,” he added, although Orange cannot yet be sure of this since very few of its TV customers will have yet come up for contract renewal.

GlobeCast is from the same stable as Orange, with both of them being fully owned by France Telecom. Orange launched direct-to-mobile TV at the end of 2004 ahead of most European operators except perhaps Vodafone and 3, which was the first live European 3G network.

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