Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Disappointed about Mobile TV

As I discussed in this article for Wireless Watch Japan in 2004, both the underlying business model (or lack of one) and the mismatch with consumer usage of the mobile platform make the concept of a robust Mobile TV experience continue to keep the reality of mobile TV as a distant hope. Just yesterday, Nokia announced that it was "disappointed" by the failure of consumers to use Mobile TV on Nokia handsets. Why is there such a surprise?

The full press release went like this:
HELSINKI, April 11 (Reuters) - Nokia (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Friday its push to promote mobile television broadcasting has not succeeded as the world's top cellphone maker had hoped. Nokia has been for years promoting television broadcasts to cellphones and its digital video broadcasting handheld (DVB-H) technology won EU support earlier this year, but only a few operators in Europe have opened any TV broadcasting services.

"It's a bit in a turmoil," Niklas Savander, head of Nokia's Internet services, told a conference in Helsinki.

Most people who watch TV programmes on their cellphones use third-generation (3G) mobile networks, bringing in long-awaited data transmission fees to operators, but these limit picture quality and user numbers.

"We have seen that there are multiple segments who are not interested in the broadcasting, but rather in downloads. Roll out is slower than also we anticipated a couple of years ago," Savander said.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Erica Billingham)

Although it's been four years since my original article, I believe that the points raised remain the same. The intersection of Mobile TV and the mobile phone mandates that TV broadcasting must change, or as this press release from Nokia explains, consumers will simply move to using the mobile phone as a time-shifting, or record and playback device.

Here's to the future of Mobile TV!

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