Vivendi chief sees mobile phones as digital 'Swiss knives'

Mobile phones are the Swiss knives of the digital age, the head of Vivendi Universal, quoted in a Reuters report, said.
The report quoted Jean-Bernard Levy, chairman of the French telecom and media group, as saying that Vivendi's mobile phone arm SFR already had 30,000 subscribers to its television service and could overtake Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes as the leading mobile music download site in France by year end.
According to the report, he said that while new functions developed as download speeds increased and memory capacity grew, France risked losing ground to other countries in developing new services if regulators would not respond.

However, French regulators were still holding back functions such as television, the executive said.
"At the moment, one frequency is blocked by each (mobile television) communication toward a subscriber. We need to move to having one frequency per television channel, which would be more efficient and reduce prices," he was quoted as saying.
The market could take off in 2007 if decisions were taken quickly, he said.

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