Mobile phones score a goal

Fans get video highlights of games via their mobile phone and a handheld computer
Written by Jane Wakefield, Contributor

Football fans were celebrating Friday as the first live video clip of a goal was delivered to mobile phones.

The goal -- Borussia Dortmund's striker Joerg Heinrich's 90th minute scorcher against FC Frieburg -- was transmitted to 300 users as part of a trial with Finnish mobile operator Sonera. The idea is part of a trial being conducted by Sonera to test new technology. At present users will have to have their phones connected to a Compaq handheld computer.

The clip was made possible by Worldzap, a firm that specialises in the creation and delivery of video to mobiles. During matches in the German Premier Football League a live broadcast stream is delivered into Worldzap's production centre in Switzerland. Throughout the game, goals and highlights are processed into small video clips and uploaded to Sonera's server in Helsinki. The server then sends out an alert SMS to the user's mobile and the user clicks on to their Compaq handheld to link to the video clip.

It is hoped commercial rollout of the service will begin in 2001. Worldzap is in negotiation with a number of handset and infrastructure manufacturers to develop similar services. "This is a great step towards our ultimate goal -- which is allowing passionate sports fans to keep in touch with all the action, whenever they want, wherever they are," says Worldzap's chief executive Brad Kwong in a statement.

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