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Nokia, Intel, Motorola and other wireless equipment makers have formed an alliance to promote an emerging technology standard for delivering live TV to mobile phones.

The partners said they would work together to develop and spread the use of DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld) – an open standard for broadcasting TV on wireless equipment – through a group dubbed the Mobile DTV Alliance.

Texas Instruments and Crown Castle International, the US cell tower operator that is building a DVB-H network in the US, are also members of the alliance.

The formation of the alliance represents a serious challenge for Qualcomm, the US mobile phone chip maker, that is backing a rival proprietary technology called Media Flow.

DVB-H and Media Flow technologies will enable mobile carriers to provide video content to subscribers without overloading their 3G wireless networks.

Mobile operators and video content providers in the US and elsewhere hope that delivering mobile TV and other video content to mobile phones will provide them with a new revenue stream. In the US, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, which operate 3G networks based on Qualcomm’s CDMA technology, are expected to adopt Media Flow. Mobile carriers in Australia,Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and UShave been testing DVB-H technology.

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