MobiTV reports user base surpassed 2m

MobiTV, which transmits cable TV channels to cell phones, said it has surpassed 2 million users, doubling its subscriber base in less than a year, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the service, first launched more than three years ago by Sprint, features real-time feeds of cable channels such as CNN, CNBC, Fox News Channel and
The Weather Channel, as well as made-for-mobile broadcasts from the likes of ESPN and ABC News.

MobiTV sometimes comes bundled with a cellular carrier's wireless Internet plans; if purchased separately it costs $10 a month or more, in addition to the carrier's data charges, the report said.

In addition to Sprint, the service is now offered by more than 30 wireless carriers. These include AT&T's Cingular Wireless and Alltel in the US, as well as Hutchison Whampoa's 3 and France Telecom's Orange in the UK, the report said.

MobiTV has won subscribers despite the unreliable download speeds of cellular networks, which can make the picture stutter and jump, rendering the experience more like a slide show than full-motion video, the report added.

Despite its growth, however, MobiTV is due to face new competition this year from TV networks being launched specifically for cell phones, the report said.