BT has unveiled a new service that broadcasts TV and digital radio stations to mobile phones.
BBC1, ITV1, and E4 have all signed up BT Movio, which will initially be available through Virgin Mobile from the start of next month.
Programmes will be broadcast to handsets at the same time as they hit TV screens although some films, sport and US-produced shows will be exempt from the broadcasts.
Channel 4 has also signed up but will initially only show its Short Cuts made-for-mobile TV channel.
Programmes will be broadcast to handsets over the DAB digital radio frequency which is available to around 85 per cent of the UK population.
To tune in customers will need a Virgin Mobile Lobster 700 Mobile TV phone, which will be available from 1 October.
The phone and TV service will be free to customers on a contract of £25 a month or more. Alternatively, the handset costs £199 with the service offered free for the first three months and £5 per month thereafter, except BBC1 which will remain free of charge for 12 months.
Alan Gow, Managing Director of Virgin Mobile, said: ‘The launch of Virgin Mobile’s “Tellyphone” is a real watershed, both in terms of mobile devices and the evolution of broadcasting.
‘Virgin Mobile finally delivers what others have been promising for so long – real TV broadcast to your mobile, delivering the programmes you want to watch, when you want to watch them, in a simple and easy-to-use experience.’
BT Movio Managing Director Emma Lloyd said: ‘BT Movio looks forward to working with Virgin Mobile as our first customer. We fully anticipate that their well-known marketing flare will attract many UK consumers to the service, which will offer the strongest TV and digital radio content for mobile phones yet to be seen in the UK.’