Nokia, YouTube serve up mobile video service

Over-the-air service will stream content from YouTube's site directly onto selected Nokia handsets.

On top of its product launches at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, handset maker Nokia this week announced it is partnering media sharing site YouTube to deliver a new video on demand service.

As part of the agreement, Nokia customers will be able to browse and view clips posted on YouTube's mobile portal, scheduled to launch later this year, over a third generation (3G) or General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) cellular network.

According to statement released by the Finnish handset maker, the service works on selected N-series mobile phones that run on the latest version of the Symbian Series 60 (S60) operating platform. Users can browse and view clips posted on YouTube over a 3G connection using the Nokia Web Browser with Mini Map, said the statement.

Nokia N95 handset owners can also access the clips as RSS video feeds via the new Nokia Video Center application. According to a spokesperson from Nokia's Singapore office, the software tool will initially be preloaded into the N95 model but is expected to be provided as a download for selected S60 devices in the future. He was unable to give a timeframe on when that might be made available.

Nokia is one of few mobile vendors that have forged partnership with YouTube in recent weeks. U.K-based wireless carrier Vodafone last week announced it has inked a deal that would allow its customers access to content stored on the upcoming YouTube mobile portal.

According to research house Infonetics, revenue from mobile video services worldwide will hit US$5.6 billion in 2008, up from US$46.2 million in 2005.

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