Research: Mobile TV Adoption Moving Forward. Slowly. - InformationWeek

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Commentary
4/11/2007
09:40 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Research: Mobile TV Adoption Moving Forward. Slowly.

Research firm In-Stat recently released a report about the growth of mobile TV. As expected, things are going slowly. The number of mobile TV broadcast networks will only increase from 9 last year to 13 this year. The largest barrier? Spectrum availability.

Research firm In-Stat recently released a report about the growth of mobile TV. As expected, things are going slowly. The number of mobile TV broadcast networks will only increase from 9 last year to 13 this year. The largest barrier? Spectrum availability.Spectrum is especially hard to come by over in Europe, which is preventing more mobile TV services from being launched. It's evident here in the U.S., too, with Verizon Wireless's limited roll-out of its V CAST Mobile TV service, which is still only in a couple dozen or so markets. The big reason Verizon didn't launch more markets is because Qualcomm's MediaFLO network doesn't yet have access to the spectrum. Verizon also only offers two handsets that are capable of using the service, which cuts down on user acceptance.

Even so, In-Stat seems to be sort of bullish on the technology for several different reasons. The researcher notes that mobile standards, such as those suggested by the ATSC, are increasing in number. In-Stat also found that Asia has the largest number of mobile TV subscribers, and that by 2011 there will be 125 million mobile TV subscribers. The company doesn't say if 125 million is enough to off-set or make up for the expense incurred by the mobile operators offering those services.

"Over the next 10 years, as more spectrum is made available, in many cases when analog TV signals are shut off, more mobile TV broadcast services will launch," said In-Stat analyst Michelle Abraham in a statement. "Another issue limiting the market today is the small number of mobile TV broadcast enabled handsets available in many markets."

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