British Telecom has announced that it is to trash its white label mobile television service after sole partner, Virgin Mobile, said it would cease to carry the service.
BT Movio launched less than a year ago in September 2006, but despite positive feedback from customers, BT admitted uptake had been lower than expected due to a lack of compatible phones on the market.
Just one handset, HTC’s so-called ‘Lobster Phone’, was available to Virgin subscribers wanting in on the venture.
Due to the service using the existing DAB multiplexes around the UK that were built solely for digital audio radio, ominously, The Register dubbed BT Movio an “impending disaster” at its launch.
Instead of the 400 kbps mobile video likely across Europe, BT Movio delivered terrestrial channels BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 and E4 at just 70kbps, an almost unwatchable quality in comparison.
Thanks to a number of factors, BT’s plan to get a head start over rival services from the UK’s biggest mobile networks seems to have bombed. We imagine there’ll be quite a few red faces at BT HQ this evening, along with a warning that rushing in first to beat the competition isn’t always necessary the best option.
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