Helsinki DVB-H Test Shows Consumers Will Pay for Mobile TV

September 8, 2005
A test of mobile TV conducted by Nokia, Digita, Elisa, MTV, Channel Four Finland, TeliaSonera Finland and YLE between March and June of 2005 found many of the 500 participants in the test were will to purchase mobile TV services or pay a fixed monthly fee for the service. Participants in the study used a Nokia 7710 smartphone to receive DVB-H mobile TV transmissions from the program providers. Familiar programs offered through the national Finnish TV channels were most popular, followed by sports and news channels, according to Nokia.

The study found mobile TV users generally watched mobile TV for 20 minutes per day, although some more active users watched up to 40 minutes per session. A popular time for viewing mobile TV was while traveling on public transportation, but the study found it was also being watched at home as a complement to participants' main TV viewing.

Participants in the pilot program were charged a monthly fee of 4.90 euros, although half of the participants thought a 10 euro per month fee would be reasonable. However, less than half the participants (41 percent) were willing to pay for the service. Users preferred a fixed-price model over a pay per view model, although many were interested in being able to purchase access to specific content such as a football match or racing competition.

The Nokia press release announcing the study results listed these key requirements from consumers of mobile TV services:

  • Easy and intuitive service usability
  • Good technical functionality and reliability
  • Content that is also suitable for short period viewing
  • Mobile phone functions must not be compromised by the TV application

  • "The Helsinki pilot reinforces our belief that mobile broadcast TV is a significant opportunity," said
    Richard Sharp, vice president of rich media at Nokia. "The message for the industry is clear: for mobile TV services to succeed we need relevant and compelling content, easy-to-use technology and reasonable and simple pricing plans. With these elements in place, consumer demand for mobile TV will follow."

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