472m Mobile TV subs

The number of people receiving Mobile TV will reach 472 million by 2013 according to an analysis by Cantab Wireless. The report – Mobile TV – Technologies, Country Cases, and Forecasts for 2009-2013 – argues that subscriber growth is anticipated to be strongest in Asia at first, especially in Korea and Japan.

From 2010 onwards, Europe and the USA are expected to catch up. Especially in Europe the shortage of radio spectrum before the analogue TV networks shutdown may delay the launch of mobile TV networks in some countries, most importantly in the UK. Also, from 2012-2013 onwards, cellular operators may start providing mobile TV services via their upgraded LTE networks, which will offer greatly increased capacity. They will become serious competitors to broadcast TV systems. The current economic slowdown will have only a temporary effect on Mobile TV user numbers.

Report author Dr Juha Korhonen, suggests that even more important than choosing the right technical standard is choosing the right business model. It is not yet obvious on how to make money in the Mobile TV business. According to Cantab, various business models have been tried and tested around the world, some successfully and some less so.

The report argues that in the medium term, broadcast Mobile TV systems will be popular. However, in the long run, point-to-point Mobile TV channels, delivered via upgraded high capacity cellular networks, will become a more popular service

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