Nokia, backed by strategic partners, is looking to make its advanced mobile phones an adjunct to the way people listen to the radio or watch television in Asia. The Finnish communications giant yesterday unveiled its ambitious Visual Radio and Mobile TV initiatives at its annual Nokia Connection event in Singapore. Developed with Hewlett-Packard, Nokia's Visual Radio will be available later this year in Singapore through MediaCorp Radio and StarHub. In Thailand, the service will be offered through RS Promotions and TA Orange. Visual Radio allows listeners to tune in to local FM radio with their mobile phones. They simultaneously receive interactive information and graphics that are synchronised with the broadcast. Text and graphics are delivered via the cellular network on the screen of the mobile handset. 'The commercial roll out of Visual Radio in Singapore and Thailand is testimony that radio broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific region are recognising mobile phones as vehicles to reach customers,' said Jawahar Kanjilal, director of rich media and music business programs at Nokia Asia-Pacific. Visual Radio allows mobile phone users to view the title and artist of a song played on the radio, check upcoming concert dates, buy ring tones and other content from the artist and take part in promotions of the radio station. MediaCorp Radio, Singapore's largest radio network, and mobile system operator StarHub will offer Visual Radio to users of Nokia models 7710, 6230i, 3230, 6111, 6270, 6280, N70 and N91 phones in the second half. Other international broadcasters and operators to deploy Visual Radio include SBS Finland's Kiss FM and TeliaSonora Finland, Infinity Broadcasting in the United States, Virgin Radio in Britain and Hit Radio FFH in Germany. An island-wide demonstration of Mobile TV is slated this week at the Nokia event and in the CommunicAsia 2005 show at Singapore Expo. Live simulcasts of MediaCorp's Channel NewsAsia and TV Mobile feed are available on the Nokia 7710 widescreen smartphone, equipped with a Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld-standard (DVB-H) receiver that was specifically designed for these trials. During the broadcasts, 7710 users will be able to connect to related websites to retrieve more information. Chan King Hung, head of mobile services at StarHub, said: 'These innovative offerings are certainly revolutionising the way people use their mobile phones for communications and entertainment.' Debbie Brackeen, HP director for the Nokia Global Alliance, said: 'Broadcasters and advertisers are embracing new technologies that enable them to reach new audiences in new ways.'