3 seeks media partner to boost ad sales on its network

The telecoms provider 3 is to become the first mobile operator to sell advertising across its network and is actively seeking a media partner to help it sell space.

Two free downloadable ads, for the Apple iPod and the film It's All Gone Pete Tong, have already run on the network, but a media agency partner would be able to advise the company on broadcast opportunities.

At the same time, 3 announced plans to air seven new TV channels on its network, including CNN, ITN and Bravo. It is also planning its own free-to-view TV channel, showing original programming, news and weather updates.

A reality mobile TV channel, See Me TV, will also launch, allowing users to make their own video clips available for download by other customers.

Separately, 3 set out its strategy to become a media rather than a telecoms company - a statement of intent that, according to analysts, is a precursor to seeking a listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Bob Fuller, 3 UK's chief executive, said the company's market-leading position, with 3.2 million UK customers, supports its aim to become the first mobile media company.

- Comment, page 52.

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