Volvo on your mobile

Ericsson to build on experience of 2005-6 round the world race

Wednesday June 18th 2008, Author: Lizzie Green, Location: United Kingdom
Ericsson will deliver the high-seas drama of the world’s toughest round the world yacht race direct to mobile handsets around the globe as official worldwide provider of the Volvo Ocean Race Mobile Channel 2008-09.

The mobile channel will be a vital component of the advanced electronic media package for the race across television, radio and Internet. In 2005-06, the mobile channel delivered over 4 million pages to mobile phones around the world.

Building on the success of the mobile portal in the last event, Ericsson is taking the multimedia experience one step further. The project is based on the concept of 'never leave the race'.

"It's about creating a unique 'anywhere' portal," says Geoff Hollingworth, head of Ericsson's Volvo Ocean Race multimedia project. "Everybody has the existing TV, radio and computer channels. Now, we are merging those together with new opportunities provided by the multimedia channels of the future."

The channel will carry a range of news and story updates and up-to-the-minute position reports giving users regular access to the action on the race track. It will be enhanced by video and audio clips allowing the public to experience life on board as never before through their mobile handsets. An innovation for the mobile menu in 2008-09 will be live coverage of in-port racing.

According to Andrew Ferguson, head of Technology and New Media for the Volvo Ocean Race, the mobile channel allows race followers to be part of the action anytime, anywhere. “The new mobile channel will allow race fans to keep in touch with the race whenever and wherever they want,” Fergie said. “They will never miss a position report or the latest news, as it will always be available on their mobile phone. With Ericsson’s expertise we are able to bring a new dimension to their online experience.

“We are also excited about the live in-port race coverage on the mobile channel. This really will be at the cutting edge of the next generation of television when video of the in-port races will be delivered live to mobile handsets.”

Ericsson will oversee the distribution agreements with network providers through its global network of companies. The mobile service will be available on all handsets irrespective of manufacturer just prior to the start of the race.

Jan Wäreby, head of Ericsson’s multimedia business, said: “Ericsson’s belief that the user is in control of the future - with an ability to manage their own experience and then tell their friends, in their own way - will define success for those providing the next generation services.”

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