Mobile TV Remains The Hottest Topic In Wireless

Consistent with trends from earlier CTIA shows and CES, Mobile TV seems to be dominating the mindshare of wireless carriers and solution providers alike here at 3GSM. While the Techdirt writers are divided on the prospects of Mobile TV, we are all agreed that there are currently too many diverse approaches to achieve critical mass and success. DVB-H, DMB-S, DMB-T, 3G, MediaFLO, TDTv, MBMS — and that doesn’t even touch on the encoding choices, DRM options, or licensing and rights issues. And once you’ve muddled through all of that, you need to develop appropriate content that the mobile consumer will want — and what if they don’t want it at all (as some research suggests). So, while this topic is hot, it’s definitely early days, and like the wild west, some people are going to get shot and buried at Boot Hill. Specific mobile video news from the show includes: Samsung, who supplies kit to SK Telecom for their DMB network in Korea, is in a deal to trial a terrestrial version with Bouygues Telecom in France. Rob Chandhok, VP at Qualcomm’s MediaFLO, has coined the term “snack TV” for the mobile bits subscribers will consume, as opposed to a full meal 1-hr TV show. Informa senior analyst David McQueen has some bullish predictions for mobileTV, saying service subscriptions will be 124.8 million by 2010, up from 500k in 2005 (couldn’t they have rounded that to 125m?). But despite numerical optimism, Mr. McQueen also noted the hurdles of: “regulation, capacity, spectrum planning, availability of desirable, popular content, a lasting battery life… how when and for how long content will be consumed, willingness to pay.” Unlike Informa, we think these hurdles are serious, and that Mobile TV may end up similar to picture phones: offered by all the carriers, and available on a great number of handsets, but not used as much as the industry had hoped. Just because it’s the talk of the show doesn’t mean it will be a huge success.

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Comments on “Mobile TV Remains The Hottest Topic In Wireless”

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Michael Christenson says:

Wireless T.V.

As a W.I.S.P. I am really looking forward to the coming of the wireless TV for our customers. We are located in an isolated location in northern Michigan, where there are a lot of areas without and without any hope of ever getting hookup to cable TV, let alone DSL. Some of our customers are seasonal due to this being a beautiful resort area of Northern Michigan (Tip of the Mit)but still they want to keep up on the world news,weekly shows, ect. Our year-around customers and seasonal customers have two choices for receiving TV receiption. High cost satellite dishes or the old UHF/VHF antennas which look ugly on their beautiful homes. We have shared the idea of Wireless TV with our customers and were greeted with high interest. We believe wireless TV would and will become a big seller. Thank you.
Michael Christenson
Northern Lights Media,LLC

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