3 Italia to become integrated TV provider

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

3 Italia, the mobile media company owned by the Hutchison Whampoa group, aims to become a integrated fixed/mobile TV provider for digital terrestrial TV from 2010.

According to CEO Vincenzo Novari, from the summer of 2010 their network will be converted, allocating 50 per cent for mobile phones and 50 per cent for the four channels that will be available in all Italian homes. The goal, he adds, is to arrive prepared for 2012, when analogue TV transmissions will be switched off in favour of digital.

3 Italia's network is capable of transmitting dedicated digital mobile channels for mobile phones, to which can be added in the future up to four DTT channels.

Since June 2006, the number of users of the DVB-H service of 3 Italia have reached 770,000 with an average daily viewing time of one hour, claims Novari. The operator has achieved 80 per cent coverage of the country, putting it on the same levels as terrestrial broadcasters RAI and Mediaset.

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