China Mobile

China Mobile offers broadcasting service for HK$58 monthly fee

HK$58 monthly fee for China Mobile's offering will cover five channels, including old HK films, Korean pop, animal programmes and cartoons

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 December, 2012, 10:08am

China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) is offering a mobile broadcasting service in the city that allows subscribers to watch customised television programmes on cellphones, tablets or even television at home.

The company has spent more than a year establishing its mobile TV network, which showcases its ambition to develop a cross-network TV service.

The HK$58 monthly fee for the service will cover five channels, including old Hong Kong movies, Korean pop songs, animal programmes and cartoons.

iPhone users will need to buy a small device called a "dongle" to receive the broadcast signals from its self-developed mobile TV network.

The content received through the dongle, which costs more than HK$500, will not incur any data transmission fee on the mobile network.

Meanwhile, Android phone users can download an application from the web to draw the content through internet streaming.

Extra data costs will be incurred from streaming when data usage exceeds the plan which the user has subscribed to.

The company is in a search for a dongle supplier for Android so as to enable users to receive broadcast signals through Android phones as well.

"The application of 4G technology will enable a conversion of different networks through telecom services, both in Hong Kong and on the mainland," Sean Lee, director and chief executive of CMHK, said.

The telecommunications operator has also decided to produce content through a channel called UOne. The first feature programme is called "U shoot I shoot".

The channel also pays tribute to local filmmakers by broadcasting award-winning films from the Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival, which aims to promote and inspire young filmmakers in Hong Kong.

CMHK said it was in talks with more content providers to enlarge its selection but declined to comment on whether it had approached Ricky Wong Wai-kay, the entrepreneur struggling to get a free-to-air licence from the government after investing millions of dollars in producing TV programmes.

Lee declined to comment on the investment spent building the mobile TV network or forecast the number of subscribers.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology developed the cloud-based content delivery network technology for the operator, which claimed to improve the picture quality and decrease the amount of buffering time during streaming.

HKUST also said the technology was capable of reducing bandwidth costs by 70 per cent and hardware costs by a further 30 per cent.