Virgin Radio is the first station to become available globally via 3G phones in a partnership with Sydus, the worldwide leader in music-to-mobile streaming lifestyles. This development in technology will make Virgin Radio easily accessible to millions of listeners via the phone in their pocket wherever there's a mobile signal: from central London to Glasgow and from New York to Sydney.
The free software from Sydus, available for download now on www.virginradio.co.uk, installs a small application on the user's mobile phone. Launching the application via the Virgin Radio logo on your handset gives access to the station, in stereo, via the mobile phone's hands-free headsets. The legendary Virgin Radio, the UK rock and pop station, will be the first available alongside the brands two digital stations, Virgin Radio Classic Rock and Virgin Radio Groove.
James Cridland, Head of New Media at Virgin Radio, said, "This application will enable anyone, anywhere to listen to Virgin Radio simply with the phone in their pocket. This allows us to tap into a huge new audience and keep radio relevant for a new generation of listeners. It places radio at the heart of the 3G revolution." Saumil Nanavati, President of Sydus, said, "This radio player is what the 3G network was built for, giving consumers high quality and high data products through a handset in their pocket. With Sydus, Virgin Radio has become the first brand to be available globally through a truly mobile music service."
This latest service works on selected 2.5G and 3G terminals, and currently there are 30 compatible handsets available from major manufacturers including Nokia and Samsung. Over 14.9 million consumers across the globe can use the service today and this number will rise rapidly as 3G phones penetrate the market.
The product from Sydus will currently be most attractive in mobile markets such as the US, India, Thailand, Singapore, China, Italy and Australia where service providers offer unlimited data bundles. Virgin Radio and Sydus are in discussions with network operators in the UK to encourage a move towards packaging greater data to make the 3G radio player and Virgin Radio a key driver of 3G pick up.
Radio is consumed every week by nearly 44 million people in the UK each week across a range of platforms. Although FM receivers have become fairly common on handsets, receiving radio via data stream will allow listeners to tune into Virgin Radio outside of the stations FM transmission area. Sydus, through one free simple download, effectively makes every new Symbian mobile phone a Virgin Radio branded receiver.