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Catch Cup clips on cellphone

Mumbai, Jan. 27: Want to catch Jonty Rhodes in action' Say Hi Hutch.

Cellular operator Hutchison Max has bagged exclusive rights for the content of the ICC World Cup 2003 for mobile telephony which will enable it to show, for the first time ever, video clips of the “best moments” of every match on a cellphone.

The bonanza for cell-toting cricket aficionados came after Hutchison Essar affiliated companies in India today announced the launch of an upgraded technology known as global packet radio services (GPRS) simultaneously across all Hutch networks covering Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and areas of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The GPRS will be available from February 8, 2003, coinciding with the inaugural event of the World Cup, which ends in late March.

“The subscribers will be able to receive 10-second video clips and progressive stills of the best moments of all World Cup matches as each game progresses,” Hutchison Max Telecom managing director Asim Ghosh said today after Indian batting star Rahul Dravid, the brand ambassador, launched the service.

Ghosh touted this as an “unique and exclusive video service (and) one of its kind anywhere in the world”. The cellular phone major said GPRS services will be made available at attractive introductory prices. A basic subscription of Rs 249 per month is being offered at an introductory price of Rs 99 till March 31.

Not all mobile phones can provide the new service. A basic version of Nokia’s 3530 (costing in the region of Rs 12,000) and Ericsson’s P800 (approximately Rs 25,000) can stream the video clippings.

The services offered under the Hutch GPRS service, Hutchworld, include accessing the Internet. The company has an exclusive tie-up with MSN Hotmail and Yahoo for offering e-mail services on the phone to consumers. “We have tied up exclusively with NDTV and BBC for news,” Ghosh added.

“Another GPRS service that is expected to be widely used is photo messaging using multimedia messaging service,” Ghosh said.

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