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BBC Brings iPlayer to Mobile Broadband Phone(s)

Posted: 09th Sep, 2008 By: MarkJ
The BBC has announced that its free iPlayer Internet TV (IPTV) service will shortly be made available on Mobile Broadband equipped phones, starting with Nokia's popular N96. The move is an extension of the BBC's strategy to make iPlayer available on as many platforms as possible, having already found its way on to PC's, TV's and Games consoles.

Nokia N96 for BBC iPlayer

Naturally some readers will point out that the iPlayer is already available on Apple's iPhone and iTouch, though that is just the streaming (web based) service. Nokia will be the first phone that enables users to download programmes as well, though it's not clear whether it will be P2P (File Sharing) based or not:

Simon Ainslie, managing director at Nokia UK, told BBC News Online: "The Nokia N96 is going to provide a gateway to quality viewing on the move. The enormous success of iPlayer has demonstrated the desire audiences have for accessing programmes at a time and a place that suits them."

Erik Huggers, BBC Director of Future Media and Technology, said: "This partnership is critical to ensuring we continue to reach out to audiences wherever they are and allow them to catch-up on their favourite BBC programmes."

Naturally, while the service itself will be free, customers will still need to have an appropriate Mobile Broadband data plan from their operator to accommodate the usage. However users will need to be acutely aware of their usage allowances lest they risk running up huge bandwidth bills.

Similarly, while the service could help to boost Mobile Broadband's profile, it may also give the operators a big headache if it takes off. There may be plenty of spare data capacity around now but that may not last if the networks run out of supply too fast. ISPs have faced this challenge too, although mobile operators are not nearly as flexible.
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