MEDIA: XY brings music to mobile users

An audio and text-based entertainment network designed specifically for WAP-enabled mobile phones has been launched by BT and production company Somethin’ Else.

An audio and text-based entertainment network designed specifically

for WAP-enabled mobile phones has been launched by BT and production

company Somethin’ Else.



XY Network will provide personalised entertainment through four

channels.



There will be a music channel: XY Music, with three sub-strands for

dance, pop and world music; XY entertainment, a channel for arts and

entertainment news and features; XY Books; and XY Chill, which will

carry snippets of alternative information on anything from Tantric sex

to Sufi Poetry. This summer XY will also carry a daily soap opera,

sports, news and business channels.



At the moment the mobile service is text-based, and carries items like

book extracts, record reviews and arts and entertainment features but,

from July, WAP phone users will be able to access audio content.



The audio launch is being timed to coincide with BT’s adoption of GPRS

(General Packet Radio System) technology, which allows for high quality

text and audio broadcasting on to mobiles.



When the next generation of mobile technology, UMTS (Universal Mobile

Telecommunications System) becomes available, the XY Network will be

able to broadcast video on to mobile phones.



The service will be available to the 750,000 subscribers to BT’s mobile

ISP, Genie Internet, the largest in the UK.



Somethin’ Else already produces radio and television programmes for the

BBC and Channel 4, including Giles Peterson’s world music show for Radio

1 and The Score, a youth-oriented sports magazine for Radio 5 Live.



Paul Bennun, a director at the production company, said: ’Radio’s unique

qualities have been under-exploited in the interactive world. We’re

going to redress that with cool programming designed especially for the

interactive space.’



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