Broadcast mobile TV to take hold in 2007

Mobile broadcast services are anticipated to take hold in the US next year, with approximately 4 million subscribers receiving mobile TV and related services on their handsets via technologies such as DVB-H and MediaFLO by the end of 2007.

Senior analyst Ken Hyers, with ABI Research notes that the driving force behind broadcast adoption will be the lack of capacity to deliver similar services over cellular. “The presence of as few as five users simultaneously receiving unicast content from a single cellular base station carrier band can seriously degrade data access for those subscribers. This is further confirmation that broadcast is the only way to get mass market uptake of these services. Already, the market is bearing out that broadcast is the essential method for offering these services,” he said.

A recent ABI Research study, “Broadcast and Unicast Mobile TV Services, forecasts that in 2011, mobile TV services will have some 514 million subscribers worldwide. Of that total 460 million will be subscribers to broadcast services.

Broadcast services are expected to have 1.5 million subscribers by the end of 2006, with a majority of US subscribers using services enabled by the wireless carriers’ broadcast network partners, including Qualcomm’s MediaFLO, Aloha’s Hiwire network, and Crown Castle’s Modeo service.

Though ABI Research believes that most of these services will debut at a $10 per month subscription in the US through operators such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, advertising will become an increasingly important source of revenue for mobile broadcast video, and will serve to subsidise high-quality programming.

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