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    Video makes the radio star


    French content licensing and management company Wonderphone says it is currently talking to 50 operators about providing mobile video packages.

    Spokesperson Marta Thongsavarn said that T-Mobile had stolen a march on the market by launching its TV for mobile service on GPRS, and that Wonderphone had been approached by a multitude of operator looking to implement similar services.
    “Everything is going very fast,” Thongsavarn said, “There is huge demand because video is right in the middle of operators’ strategy right now.”
    Former French television executive Philip Plaisance, founder of the company, has secured the rights to a million short video clips, as well as exclusive rights to Vivendi Universal Games’ licences
    Wonderphone says it has signed up SFR for its services, but cannot name other operators as yet. The package includes an architecture to help deliver video clips and games to mobiles, including a multi-format, bandwidth and handset transcoding capability.
    “The content provider delivers all data, MPEGs and so on to us and we transcode everything and carry out post production to manage the technical requirements,” Thongsavarn said. “For example in Sweden an operator wanted eight minute clips but in France the requirement was for two minute clips. Then we also provide all content animation and deal with all the marketing to refresh and improve content. It’s like a TV channel on your mobile,” she added.
    Operators can fit the platform within their existing brands, such as Vodafone Live!, Thongsavarn claimed. In the case of SFR, the operator has outsourced all sourcing, licensing and billing for video content to Wonderphone in an exclusive deal. Thongsavarn predicted there would be a rash of announcements in March as operators played catch up on T-Mobile and its GPRS TV for mobile announcement.