We keep hearing analyst firms claim that mobile TV is going to be the killer app for mobile data, even as there have been plenty of questions as to whether or not anyone actually wants to watch broadcast videos on their mobile phones. Plenty of people have wondered what the attraction is to mobile video, and studies have shown people just aren't that interested... and yet the industry keeps forging forward on these efforts. Now, finally, some others are recognizing an issue that has been obvious for some time: wireless networks just don't have the capacity to handle mobile video. That's why all these new mobile data networks are so expensive. If people actually used the networks, they wouldn't have enough bandwidth. Thus, they limit it with the pricing spigot. It's also why companies like Qualcomm are investing nearly a billion dollars in a separate network just for broadcast style mobile video. It answers the capacity question, but seeing as it's one-way broadcast (and a Qualcomm rep danced around this issue last week at DEMOfall without ever saying that they really would make the network two-way) it takes away most of the benefits of such an offering. People still use mobile phones to communicate much, much more than they use it to consume broadcast-style content. It seems the only people who are really big believers in mobile video are those who hope to charge for it. This is the opposite of how business decisions should be made. Look for a customer need that you can solve, not something that you can charge for that you hope, eventually, you can convince people they need.
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