Siano eyes US mobile DTV, IPO
December 29, 2011
By Colin Mann
Attracted by market prospects for mobile TV, Israeli maker of TV chips for mobile devices Siano Mobile Silicon is planning a push into the US in 2012, with the possibility an initial public offering filing as early as 2012, reports Bloomberg.
Chief Executive Officer Alon Ironi said that Siano had held conversations with bankers and was considering a US filing next year or in 2013. No date has been set for the move, and the timing may depend on how quickly digital mobile TV takes off with Americans, he said.
The Mobile500 Alliance – an organisation of 48 broadcasting groups, including McGraw-Hill Cos. and Gray Television Inc. – will begin testing mobile TV technology in Seattle early in 2012. Trial participants will be able to access TV broadcasts by attaching a special gadget, with Siano’s chip, to their mobile devices. Consumers will be able to watch free, local programming without having to pay for a wireless data plan.
In addition, the Mobile Content Venture – an industry alliance comprised of about a dozen broadcasting groups, including Fox Entertainment and NBC Universal – has its own initiative. The group has encouraged TV stations covering half the country to add mobile TV transmitters. It will start rolling out devices that can receive the signals next year.
Siano will need to overcome the unfavourable perception of the technology in the US, following the failure of Qualcomm’s Flo TV service.“We need to see the creation of a positive perception of the mobile-TV market in the eyes of the financial community,” Ironi said. “It’s almost a condition for going public. Right now, if you talk to an average analyst, all they know about mobile TV is it failed.”