3 Italia aims for 500,000 DVB-H subscribers

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3 Italia, the Italian subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, will launch its 20-channel DVB-H mobile television service in June to coincide with the start of the World Cup.

The mobile operator has acquired live mobile TV rights in Italy to all 64 games from FIFA as part of a ?50m-per-year budget 3 Italia has set aside for content.

The service, to be called La Tre, aims to reach 70% of the Italian population by the launch date. Two handsets will be offered to subscribers: LG's LGU900 and Samsung's Stealth.

The service—which will compete against Telecom Italia's own DVB-H offering, in partnership with Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset—is priced at between ?15 and ?30 per month. The plan is to add a further 10 channels to the service next year, rising to 40 channels in 2008.

Among the channels will be those from state broadcaster RAI, Mediaset and Sky Italia. Three channels will be operated by La Tre: two entertainment and one sport.

3 Italia CEO Vincenzo Novari said he expected to attract 500,000 subscribers by the end of 2006.

Hutchison Whampoa postponed plans to float 3 Italia earlier this month. Novari said good performance of the mobile television service could help its strategy of being valued as a media company rather than a telecoms stock, and put the flotation back on track.

Lovelace Consulting  |  21.02.2006

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