T-Mobile International will stream 20 World Cup soccer games live to customers with phones using high-speed connections.
"We will be the only operator to stream 20 matches live to cell phones," said René Obermann, a board member of the Deutsche Telekom and chairman of T-Mobile International, at a news conference Tuesday in Hanover, Germany, ahead of the Cebit trade show that opens on Thursday.
In addition to the live matches, T-Mobile International will offer highlights of all 64 games, expert discussions and other information in collaboration with the German pay-TV station Premiere.
Users with handsets able to support high-speed technologies such as 3G and High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) will benefit from superior streaming quality, Obermann said.
T-Mobile officially launched HSDPA in Germany on Tuesday, after rolling out the service last week in Austria, according to Obermann. The U.K. and the Netherlands will follow shortly, he said.
HSDPA laptop cards have been available since September 2005.
The technology currently supports speeds up to 1.8Mbps, with speeds planned to increase to 3Mbps next year and 7Mbps by 2007, according to Obermann.
In areas lacking 3G and HSDPA coverage, T-Mobile will offer Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution, offering speeds up to 200Kbps.
New broadcast mobile TV services, however, are not expected to arrive in time for the World Cup games, which begin June 9. The final match will be July 9 in Berlin.
Lothar Pauly, a board member of Deutsche Telekom and CEO of the group's IT services subsidiary, T-Systems International GmbH, said last month that "the time axis isn't right."
Broadcast mobile TV phones receive regular TV broadcasts using special antennas.
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