Feeds

Babelgum chews on Vodafone

Phone telly try-out

The Power of One Infographic

Updated Free net TV company Babelgum has signed a deal with Vodafone to bring their video content to Vodafone customers in the UK and Italy, at least for users of the Nokia N96, N95 and 6210.

Babelgum is offering free content on the back of advertising embedded in its proprietary media browser - to watch Babelgum content one has to download a special client (which is already available to iPhone users, and now on the Vodafone Live portal) which can then be used to stream adverts, as well as guiding users around the content.

That content may be free, but the bandwidth is not. Users watching Babelgum will see their data bundle eroded, though the service is also available over Wi-Fi connections, and you'd have to watch an awful lot of TV to hit the cap.

The deal is much like that offered by Rok TV, so the debate comes down to content. For those who want to watch real television on the move Vodafone UK offers tariffs from three quid a month - for ITV, Channels 4 & 5 and the Champions league amongst others - up to a tenner a month for all that plus a bouquet of Sky channels.

The operator sees no great threat from the free offerings - in fact Vodafone seems more concerned that customers won't even bother watching for free. "This is a six-month trial to see whether the content is good enough for our customers, whether they like it enough to offer the service," a representative told us.

There is also, no doubt, a hope that punters will try the free service and find that while the technology works well the content isn't up to scratch, and perhaps they'll upgrade to a paid-for service.

But if free and subscription TV can both find business models over 3G networks then the argument for mobile broadcast gets knocked down again, no matter how much regulators seem to like the idea. ®

Update: Vodafone has been in touch to assure us that punters watching Babelgum over a 3G connection won't eat into their 500MB fair-use limit, at least not during the 6-month trial, so the content really is free while they establish if it's worth paying that much for.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.