Hutch gets Playboy over 3G

"I was young and I needed the money," operators may end up claiming, as the base line kicks in...

"I was young and I needed the money," operators may end up claiming, as the base line kicks in...

After extending its reach into print, broadcast and the internet, adult content provider Playboy Enterprises will now take to mobile phones. A spokesman from UK mobile operator 3, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, told Reuters the company's third-generation phone services will now include pictures and video clips from Playboy. "Playboy has always been committed to making its content available through the use of emerging technologies and new platforms," Playboy chief executive Christie Hefner was quoted as saying. Mobile providers have been trying to find must-have content to soak up bandwidth bought so expensively during the sale of 3G licences in Europe and Asia. The poor uptake of 2.5G text-only services has made the search for a mobile killer app all the more urgent. The power of pornography to drive technological innovation has long been proven. It helped propel video cassette recorders into mainstream use and today 'sex' continues to be among the most popular words on web search engines. Porn websites were also one the first businesses to pioneer a subscription model for content and digital streaming technologies and remain among the most profitable dot-coms. With the exclusive deal, 3 UK will have multi-year access to 13 million photos and 2,000 hours of video programming from Playboy, the report said. To restrict the service to adults, a PIN will be issued to customers and all videos will receive an 18 certificate from UK regulators to verify the models are of legal age, added the 3 UK spokesman. Subscribers to this wireless service will not, however, have access to printed material from Playboy, the report said.