The BBC has announced agreements with technology and licensing companies CMLA, Coremedia and Intertrust that will see the corporation's iPlayer become available on a wider range of mobile handsets.

iPlayer allows viewers in the UK to watch BBC programmes on demand for one week after broadcast, via a computer, Nintendo Wii games console, iPhone, iPod Touch, Windows Media-compatible portable device and via the red button on Virgin Media's digital cable service.

Currently, the new Nokia N96 is the only smartphone that supports an iPlayer download via a wireless internet connection or ‘over the air'.

The three companies, all members of the Open Media Alliance (OMA), have developed technology that ensures content protection for downloads to mobiles over a wireless internet connection

The BBC is committed to making iPlayer available to as many Britons as possible, including those who are on the move

"Mobile is an extremely important part of our strategy to allow audiences to access BBC content on multiple platforms at their convenience." said Matthew Postgate, controller of Mobile BBC.

"Our agreements with CMLA, CoreMedia and Intertrust have allowed digital rights protection on full television programmes for mobile for the first time. Each of these companies plays a valuable part in helping the BBC evolve its services for audiences and push the boundaries of the broadcasting industry.”

It is hoped the N96 will be joined by a selection of smartphones from other manufacturers in the near future. In the meantime, users of iPlayer can continue to transfer downloaded programmes to their mobiles via their PCs.

The BBC also announced this week that iPlayer is now compatible with nearly any portable media player (PMP) that supports Windows Media-protected content.

The list of gadgets includes the Sony Walkman E and S series and the Archos 605 WIFI and Internet Media Tablets.

Content is downloaded to a PC and then transferred to a compatible mobile device's file system to be played on the move.