Skipper

Sky Opts for Symbian OS

David Murphy

Motorola_new_1Satellite broadcaster BSkyB has selected Symbian OST for its Sky by mobile  interactive application, which delivers the Sky Digital TV service to mobile phone users. Sky by mobile offers Sky Digital and Sky Bet customers a way to access Sky on the move at no extra cost.
The service is available to customers who subscribe to two or more premium channels, or who have a registered active Sky Bet account, for no additional subscription charge, though network data charges apply for the downloading of content.
Once downloaded from www.skybymobile.com onto an appropriate 2.5G or 3G Symbian OS phone, users are presented with a viewing guide with the same look and feel as the Sky Guide electronic programme guide (EPG).
The Symbian OS application offers a range of TV content, including sports, entertainment, news and weather, and provides access to a range of interactive services, including personalised news, sports headlines and on the fly betting for Sky Bet account holders. In order to handle this large volume of real-time multimedia content in an effective way, the application was developed using native C++ on Symbian OS, in order to ensure the best user experience, without compromising quality.
Symbian enjoys a market leading position in the smartphone OS market. As of Q3 2005, 13 handset manufacturers had shipped 48 million Symbian OS phones to more than 250 major networks worldwide. Gartner forecasts that by the end of 2006 smartphone sales will reach 87million, with Symbian OS owning accounting for 72 million, representing 83% of the market.
"Using Symbian OS means we can offer Sky customers the very best quality experience on mobile," says BSkyB Business Development Director, Stephen Nuttall. "We are extending the Sky brand even further by offering great content conveniently and flexibly to our customers." 
Oliver Sturrock, Chief Operating Officer of weComm, the UK software company that developed Sky by mobile for BSkyB adds:
"We recommended to Sky that the Sky by mobile service should be developed on Symbian OS first because it was the only platform capable of supporting a highly appealing and intuitive user experience, without compromising any of the advanced technology features we required for a first rate interactive mobile TV service.
Sky by mobile is available on all UK networks, and works with 11 Nokia handsets, six Motorolas and three Blackberrys. For a list of compatible handsets, click here.