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
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