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LIME brings Mobile TV to Jamaica

Mobile TV is one of the promises Cable&Wireless is projecting it will make a reality in The Bahamas someday, but for Jamaicans, yesterday was the day that was realized.

Mobile TV was officially launched in Kingston, Jamaica, setting that country apart as the first to have the service in the Caribbean, and one of the first in the northern hemisphere, according to David Shaw, CEO of the Caribbean operations of Cable&Wireless(LIME).

“We’ll be looking to do something similar in The Bahamas with that kind of technology,”Shaw said in an interview with Guardian Business on Thursday.

The mobile service is being rolled out in phases, with LIME customers in the Greater Kingston area, and St. Catherine, including Portmore to be the first of the Caribbean’s new Mobile TV audience, according to a release from LIME.

The channels that will be available to Jamaican subscribers at launch include CNN, ESPN, Sportsmax, NBC, Hype TV and the Cartoon Channel for kids. A pay per view(PPV)offering and other channels will be added within the coming weeks.

“This is a historic moment,”Chris Dehring, Chairman of LIME Jamaica said.”Many of us here in Jamaica remember exactly when TV changed from black and white to color. We also remember exactly when LIME introduced mobile phones to Jamaica. The merger of these two technologies will also now be forever remembered as a seminal moment when a mobile phone truly became more than just a phone.

“LIME Mobile TV provides the ultimate solution. It’s a natural twinning of two of the most ubiquitous technologies in the world, and it’s going to change the way people live and plan their time. They are going to have more flexibility as they no longer have to stay home to avoid missing their favorite program on TV.”

According to Shaw, the”killer”market in telecommunications is the’moving image’.

“If you look at all the[statistics]that come out for the US, for example, 80%of the traffic that goes into the iPhone is in moving image,”Shaw said,”and having a network that can cope with that moving image is a hugely important part of the technology that we need to embrace.”

LIME is offering Jamaican subscribers who purchase TV-ready phone handsets a basic offering of a seven-day prepaid package costing J$250. The basic offering will allow customers to get 200 minutes talk time, as well as all the channels on LIME mobile TV for free during the introductory period, according to a company release.

J$250 was valued under US$3.00 at press time.

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