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ST video news now just a phone call away - Sep 12, 2007 (ST)

BackSep 12, 2007

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

ST video news now just a phone call away

If you have a 3G-enabled mobile phone and Sim card, you can watch video news clips from The Straits Times for free or at minimal cost.

By Melissa Kok
Sep 12, 2007
The Straits Times

YOU may want to put this number in the phonebook of your cellphone: 6403-9838.
This is because, from today - if you have a 3G-enabled mobile phone and Sim card - you will be able to watch video news clips from The Straits Times for free or at minimal cost.

The new service, called The Straits Times Vodcast Mobile, will give users access to news content if they simply make a video call to the number.

The service, provided by Maven Lab and Nano Equipment, uses 3G video technology to send out data.

It is a cheaper way of accessing the news than by mobile Internet, because charges on video calls are based on call duration, not data usage.

Depending on your phone subscription plan, video calls can be free, or cost you up to 16.05 cents a minute.

This means it will cost you 32 cents for a two-minute 4MB clip.

If you surf the Internet with your phone and download the same clip, it could cost you up to 1.07 cents a kilobyte, or $4.28.

Mr Eugene Leow, 35, deputy editor of straitstimes.com, said: 'With no 3G data charges, we've removed a big obstacle and have made our video news accessible to more people.'

Image quality, however, may not be as high as with downloaded material, but the pros outweigh the cons.

Maven Lab director Hiew Wee Soon, 31, said: 'There's no waiting time when you make a video call.

'The content is streamed live in real-time, and it costs much less.'

When the user is connected, interactive menus will provide navigation guides.

Users can watch up to eight video stories at any one time. Up to four new clips will be uploaded each weekday.