English football fans will be able to watch the team’s Euro 2012 clash with Sweden live on their smartphones and tablets using a new BBC Sport streaming service.

The corporation has used the first full week of the Euro 2012 tournament to test “some exciting new ways to enjoy football”. This includes a service that optimises BBC’s live and on-demand streaming coverage of matches on mobile devices, both over WiFi and 3G. The service also offers video highlights of games.

Available through the existing BBC Sport mobile website, as well as the mobile-optimised sports homepage, the videos will work in the UK on iPhone and iPod touch with iOS 5 and above, along with the iPad and devices with Android 2.2 and higher.

“Audience research shows that users are increasingly looking to the web on the go, getting the content they want, when and where they want it,” Lucie Mclean, the senior product manager of mobile sport 2012 at BBC Future Media, wrote in a blog post.

“Huge numbers of people already enjoy live and demand video on their desktop, at home or in the office, and text and data services on their mobile. By offering video across mobile devices we aim to give sports fans the complete picture wherever they are.”

McLean said that following the Euro 2012, live and on-demand video would also be offered on smartphones and tablets for Wimbledon, Formula One, the Open Golf and the Olympics.

The mobile service will include up to 24 live video streams, a detailed schedule and results and also access via BBC Sports Olympic apps on iOS and Android.

Delivering live and on demand video across a range of tablets and mobiles is complicated, and there are instances where they still have a few bugs to iron out. BBC has decided to get these services out to audiences now so that they can start to use and enjoy them.

Live streaming means delivering live video over the Internet, it involves a camera for the media, an encoder to digitize the content, a media publisher, and a content delivery network to distribute and deliver the content.

3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunication services fulfilling the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) specifications by the International Telecommunication Union. Application services include wide-area wireless voice telephone, mobile Internet access, video calls and mobile TV, all in a mobile environment.

Several telecommunications companies market wireless mobile Internet services as 3G, indicating that the advertised service is provided over a 3G wireless network. Services advertised as 3G are required to meet IMT-2000 technical standards, including standards for reliability and speed (data transfer rates). To meet the IMT-2000 standards, a system is required to provide peak data rates. However, many services advertised as 3G provide higher speed than the minimum technical requirements for a 3G service. Recent 3G releases, often denoted 3.5G and 3.75G, also provide mobile broadband access of several Mbit/s to smartphones and mobile modems in laptop computers.

The 3G standard is perhaps well known because of a massive expansion of the mobile communications market post-2G and advances of the consumer mobile phone. An especially notable development during this time is the smartphone (for example, the iPhone, and the Android family), combining the abilities of a PDA with a mobile phone, leading to widespread demand for mobile internet connectivity. 3G has also introduced the term "mobile broadband" because its speed and capability make it a viable alternative for internet browsing, and USB Modems connecting to 3G networks are becoming increasingly common. (Sources: BBC)

By Mohamad El Hallak