Pay TV May Be Over-Hyped
Apr 5, 2006
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The hype surrounding broadcast mobile TV services remains out of proportion to evidence of consumer interest and willingness to pay according to a report today from Strategy Analytics Wireless Internet Applications Service. The global research and consulting company report Mobile Broadcast TV: Caution Needed as Bubble Grows says demand for mobile TV in the short to medium term will be met adequately by carriers as they upgrade their networks to HSDPA and introduce 3G multicasting technologies such as MBMS/BMCS. A rush to heavy investment in new digital networks cannot be justified.

Developments in mobile digital TV continue to be driven by vendors and the arrival of DVB-H and DMB handsets and networks is forcing carriers to evaluate strategic positioning in this nascent area through a number of trials and pilot schemes.

"Although a large proportion of the carrier community is assessing DVB-H, T-DMB, and MediaFlo, their motivation is out of fear and uncertainty rather than opportunity," Strategy Analytics Senior Analyst Nitesh Patel states, "Network operators should control service delivery over their own infrastructure, since demand can be met adequately by cellular based multicast technologies such as MBMS, when it becomes available in 2007. However, the window of opportunity for MBMS will be limited, given that dominant handset vendors Nokia and Samsung are aggressively pushing digital broadcast technologies today."

Strategy Analytics Predicts the Winner: DVB-H

Strategy Analytics predicts that the winner in the mobile TV format battle will eventually be DVB-H, ahead of DMB and Qualcomm's FLO.

"DMB based deployments have taken an early market lead in Korea, where the technology has originated," Strategy Analytics Vice President David Kerr says. "However, as carriers in Europe, North America and the rest of Asia - excluding Japan - begin to launch digital TV, we fully expect DVB-H to win, given its position as a standard, and because of the widespread support it has attained from carriers, the handset vendor community and regulatory bodies. We also believe that Qualcomm's FLO will struggle to gain traction outside the U.S. market, despite being a superior technology to DVB-H, while in Japan ISDB-T will be the dominant format for terrestrial mobile TV".

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