Mobile TV in “quagmire of delays”

A quagmire of regulatory delays hampering the availability of mobile TV spectrum in Europe will only delay DVB-H adoption over the next two to three years, an industry analyst has warned.

In its recent report, “Enabling Technologies: Entertainment At Heart Of OEMs Brand & Profit Strategies,” Strategy Analytics said that delays were likely to fragment the adoption of mobile TV around the world.

“These regulatory delays, combined with the success of ISDB-T in Japan, the momentum of DMB services in Korea, the commitment of the two largest operators in the US to using MediaFLO, and the rising chorus of support for MBMS in 3GPP2 will create a much more fragmented mid-term for mobile TV adoption globally,” said Chris Ambrosio, director of Wireless Practice at Strategy Analytics.

However, FM radio will prove to be a valuable ‘check box’ feature on both 2G and 3G handsets going forward. The analyst believes that by the end of 2010 a new generation of FM radio stations in emerging markets will act as another catalyst in driving FM radio features into half of handsets sold annually.

Bonny Joy, another analyst at Strategy Analytics, said: “With regard to music adoption, the next challenge is for device vendors to find a way to push music into mid-tier price points without negatively impacting usability.

“Sony Ericsson and Samsung have the advantage in marketing these entertainment features alongside strong consumer electronics brands. While Sony Ericsson has made huge strides in this direction with Walkman, Cybershot and Bravia sub-brands, Samsung and Panasonic are struggling to leverage strong consumer brands to drive handset sales.”

The analysts said that proactive OEMs like Nokia are trying to carve out differentiated streaming video-enabled product positions in order to jump on the Web 2.0 bandwagon. Strategy Analytics anticipates that in the long term, streaming video features will serve as the next major enabler beyond messaging to drive broader mass market demand for smart 3G devices.

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