Al Jazeera in mobile video talks with Vodafone Egypt

Vodafone Egypt is in early discussions with Al Jazeera about plans to distribute video content from the satellite channel’s broadcast news services to its mobile subscribers.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  January 25, 2004

Vodafone Egypt is in early discussions with Al Jazeera about plans to distribute video-based content from the satellite channel’s broadcast news services to its mobile subscribers. The mobile operator was demonstrating video streamed from Al Jazeera and rival broadcaster CNN at the Cairo ICT exhibition in January, which would eventually be offered to mobile users through its GPRS portal, Vodafone Live! The move would further a deal announced at the show for Vodafone Live! to include the ‘Al Jazeera Mobile’ SMS breaking news service, which was launched in October 2003 with Qatar Telecom, the monopoly operator in the broadcaster’s home country. It would also allow Al Jazeera to expand its mobile service portfolio, which includes a voice portal in the UAE and text-based content supplied to subscribers in Malaysia, Brunei and India. Although a likely date for the launch of the service has not been set, a spokesperson for the broadcaster said a deal to offer video streaming to Vodafone Live! subscribers was “very much on the cards.” “We have been invited to participate with Vodafone in a streaming service and will be in discussions with them pretty soon,” he added. At Cairo ICT, the video news services were being promoted alongside a range of applications aimed at the corporate market that Vodafone Egypt is aiming to launch during 2004. Among the services expected to be launched by the operator this year are Wireless Office, a mobile virtual private network (MVPN) offering which allows businesses to adopt short code dial numbers for their company mobiles. Egypt may also become one of the markets in which the Vodafone Group is expecting to launch Research in Motion’s Blackberry corporate email system during 2004, according to a spokesperson for the firm.

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