Vodafone to launch video service

Vodafone will launch a 'Web 2.0' service that allows customers with camera-enabled handsets to upload and view their own videos.

In a move to generate more buzz -- and bucks -- for its Live mobile phone portal, Vodafone Group is poised to launch a "Web 2.0" service that allows customers to upload and view their own videos.

The service, to be launched at the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany, in March, will enable customers with camera-enabled handsets to take videos and upload them, either via MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service ) or WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), to the Live portal, Vodafone said Wednesday.

Not only will users be able to share videos with others; they will also be able to make money. Vodaphone plans to introduce a plan for paying users according to the number of times their videos are downloaded.

The new video community will also provide a search function to help users easily find clips.

Vodafone customers will be able to access the Live portal using PCs as well as mobile phones.

The move allows the operator to add more content to its Live portal without having to produce its own or purchase it from others, said Emma Mohr-McClune, senior analyst with Current Analysis. Vodafone will also generate more revenue from customers using their phones to upload and download content, in addition to viewing it online, she said.

At Cebit, Vodafone also plans to launch a service allowing customers to use their mobile phones to cast votes, participate in games or request information from cooking shows streamed live via the operator's mobile portal. Another new service slated for March will allow users to build their own Flash technology-based mobile Web site.

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John Blau

IDG News Service
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