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CSA approves Virgin mobile TV plan

French media regulator the CSA has given its stamp of approval to the deal between TDF and Virgin Mobile to launch a mobile TV broadcast service (known in France as TMP or television mobile personnelle).

Virgin Mobile plans to launch a service in the second half of 2011. The network will be entirely financed by TDF and will cover about 50% of the country (in terms of exterior coverage) at launch, as well as the interiors of 30% of buildings.

Virgin Mobile will charge a subscription for the service, which is expected to break even with one million subscribers. As part of its deal with TDF, Virgin Mobile will offer the TMP service exclusively for a period of six months from the date of the launch of the network, after which other distributors will be invited to join.

The next stage in the process will be for the 13 private and three public channels that originally launched digital-terrestrial offers to name a multiplex offer for the mobile service. This is set to happen by June 8 at the latest.