Verizon Wireless, a U.S. mobile phone provider, said it launched the commercial mobile television service in 20 states with full-length programs and picture quality similar to regular TV.
The venture of Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group Plc said Thursday it is charging $15 a month for the service, which was developed by Qualcomm Inc. unit MediaFlo and includes eight channels broadcasting full-length TV shows to phones 24 hours a day.
Mobile video services are said to have high prices, and poor video quality. This is dampening market penetration for video phones.
The picture quality of the new service is siad to be on par with home TV and roughly twice as clear as Verizon Wireless's existing Vcast video service, spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said.
Mobile video services, first launched in the U.S. in 2004, have only about 7 million customers out of about 232 million mobile subscriptions, according to Ovum analyst Roger Entner, who said that higher-quality pictures could change that.