Virgin Radio, Ericsson in global radio venture

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STOCKHOLM--Swedish telecoms company Ericsson has joined forces with Ginger Media Group, owner of the U.K.'s Virgin Radio, to engage in trials of a third-generation technology with the potential to allow local or national radio stations to reach global audiences.

The trial is a step towards enabling anyone, anywhere to tune in to Virgin Radio programs using wireless Internet terminals instead of the current use of a broadcast radio receiver in areas where Virgin holds a broadcast license.

According to Ericsson, these services will be possible in a few years once third-generation (3G) mobile phones and networks go commercial.

Using this technology, users will be able to do much more than make and receive voice calls. They will be able to surf the Internet, send and receive video material, watch Web TV, engage in cost-effective video-conferencing and play games.

"Third-generation mobile networks will transform the landscape of the radio industry and provide the stimulus for global consolidation into entertainment groups. We can foresee a day when more people around the world will listen to us using mobile terminals than through a broadcast radio receiver," says Lee Roberts of Ginger Media.

Copyright August 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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