Web TV service Babelgum launched a six-month trial of its mobile service today in conjunction with Vodafone UK, which lets users watch video through both Wi-Fi and 3G connections. Babelgum Mobile is available immediately and will work on Nokia N96, N95 and 6210 handsets. Babelgum Mobile also works on the iPhone, but that service is through O2, not Vodaphone.
Unlike Joost’s recent mobile video app, which only works through Wi-Fi, Babelgum’s service will work over 3G networks. For now, it looks like Joost offers a broader range of content; Babelgum is pushing mostly music videos and BBC comedies. According to the Babelgum press announcement, the company will be rolling out its mobile service in new countries (including the U.S.) in the coming months, and it plans to tailor the content for each market.
Babelgum is a tough one to figure out. The company has had a bit of a revolving door when it comes to executives in C-level positions. And whereas most, if not all, online video companies have abandoned the notion of requiring downloadable clients to watch content in favor of a web-based viewing solution, Babelgum is sticking with it. The company also announced it was getting into the original content biz, and most of its news lately has been about film contests.
The partnership with Vodafone isn’t a huge surprise, as Babelgum CEO Valerio Zingarelli was the former global director of networks and service platforms for Vodafone. But will mobile moves be enough to move the needle on Babelgum? We’re not holding our breath.