Mobile IPTV from UTStarcom imminent for India

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 16-09-2010

The commercial launch of mobile IPTV services is imminent in India, according to the South Asia MD of UTStarcom, who says the US-listed company is now ready to roll out its next generation video delivery technology to the nation.

In a report by Telecom Yatra, UTStarcom’s Vijay Yadav said: “We are presently in talks with various telecom operators. The technology is already here. It will be available in the [Indian] market shortly.”

Airtel currently offers IPTV services using UTStarcom technology, and Tata Indicom and RCom are planning to offer mobile TV services over their EVDO networks. Yet Yadav refused to be drawn into speculation that it would port its IPTV service onto the mobile platform.

When partnership discussions conclude, however, Yadav said the mobile IPTV service would be available either via a URL weblink or on a device portal, and require bandwidth of between 20 Kbps and 2 Mbps, depending on the screen resolution.

“We noticed that bandwidth of about 80 Kbps will provide satisfactory video and audio playback using the 2.5G network to carry mobile IPTV,” Yadav told Telecom Yatra.

“Mobile IPTV definitely has tremendous scope in India since mobile phones are the communication technology with the highest acceptance here,” he continued. “Mobiles are among the most personal devices that people have with them at all times. It gives viewing users freedom of choice and location. Plus, with the added features of IPTV now accessible on your mobile phone, this technology is bound to take off.”

The main stumbling blocks to mobile TV take-up in the subcontinent is, suggests Yadav, the lack of network quality and the delay in allocating 3G spectrum in India, which has hindered the technology.

Last year, UTStarcom rolled out its mobile IPTV technology with China Telecom in Hainan Province. This service extended the existing IPTV service that Hainan Telecom and UTStarcom had been delivering since 2006, and is mostly consumed by those on the move using a large screen phone, according to the Telecom Yatra report.

UTStarcom’s strong presence in the Asia-Pacific IPTV market is further underlined by other IPTV technology deployments in Sri Lanka with SLT, Japan with Softbank, and Taiwan with Markwell.