Mobile TV income threatened by FTA services

The increasing availability of mobile handsets capable of receiving FTA analogue and digital terrestrial TV signals will adversely impact the prospects for dedicated mobile broadcast TV networks, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
While the report says that more than 330 million mobile users worldwide will own broadcast TV-enabled handsets by 2013, less than 14% will opt for mobile pay-TV services. Although mobile broadcast TV will generate global annual end-user revenues of $2.7 billion by 2013, this level is markedly lower than previously forecast.

According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, “the development of terrestrial TV-capable receivers with comparatively low power consumption, and the availability of these receivers in mass market handsets, throws into question the business case for the deployment of a dedicated network in many markets.”
The report notes that operator decisions to offer DVB-T handsets in Germany has effectively closed the door for DVB-H in Germany, and argues that the strong take-up of analogue TV handsets in China, and of one-seg handsets in Japan, indicates that FTA services will continue to predominate.

However, the report also notes that this trend in turn has created a further opportunity for streamed TV services. Holden continued: “there will always be a market for some form of premium TV service on the mobile handset, and with broadcast TV in many markets likely to consist simply of the free-to-air terrestrial signals, the gap in the market is likely to be filled by streamed VOD services over the 3G network.”

Other findings from the report include:
- In terms of end-user revenues, the US will be the largest single market for mobile broadcast TV services in 2013, followed by South Korea and China.
- MediaFLO services are likely to be deployed in parts of Asia and in the UK by the end of 2010.
- Adoption levels for streamed TV packages are higher than previously envisaged, reflecting the reduction in anticipated deployment of dedicated mobile broadcast TV networks.