BT arm to develop first broadcast network for Net-enabled mobiles

BT’s mobile Internet service provider Genie Internet is to develop the first broadcast entertainment network designed for Net-enabled wireless application protocol mobile phones.

The XY Network is being developed with independent radio and TV production company Somethin Else. Advertising will also be placed on the network.

The network aims to be like an interactive radio station and will have four different sections: XY Music, which features dance, pop and world music; XY Entertainment, which features reviews, entertainment and arts news; XY Books – a new and classic books channel; and XY Chill, which covers snippets of lifestyle information.

Users will be able to personalise the services which will be sent to their WAP phones.

Because the XY Network has been designed for WAP phones instead of being adopted from a website, the visual information has been configured to fit the screen on a WAP phone.

Audio content varies from soundbites to full-length music tracks to book readings.

A full audio service for WAP phones will be launched later this summer, but the content is also accessible through PCs on Genie Internet’s website and Xynetwork.com.

BTCellnet has signed deals with a number of brands to supply WAP content, including Lastminute.com, Excite and Guardian Unlimited.

BTCellnet launched Genie Internet in March 1999, and has 750,000 subscribers.

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