Summary:

The BBC has quietly launched a beta test for a live mobile TV and radio service. The corporation’s broadcasts were already available on-dema…

imageThe BBC has quietly launched a beta test for a live mobile TV and radio service. The corporation’s broadcasts were already available on-demand via mobile and all stream live over PC web; now Auntie is taking them to UK mobile users at http://www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/live/tv/ – but they will need a WiFi handset.

The service is said to be available on only a small number of handsets at present (it works neither on my iPhone nor Nokia (NYSE: NOK) N95), and the BBC reminds viewers watching the live TV streams without a TV license is “a criminal offence” that could lead to prosecution and a £1,000 fine. Earlier this year, BBC mobile head Richard Titus told me the Beeb sees mobile as connecting with a younger audience.

Update: BBC told us the beta, which it blogged about this week, has been running since September. “We are looking at a selection of WiFi-enabled handsets from HTC, Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Palm (NSDQ: PALM), Samsung and Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC). The iPhone doesn’t support streaming, which is why its not a featured device … The purpose is to test uptake and quality and assess how we might be able to stream live services to an increasing number of mobile devices in the future, but we are some way off this becoming a full BBC service.”

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