China works towards widespread mobile TV service
July 19, 2011
There are many companies wanting to move their mobile TV services into China, but progress has been slow due to several factors. Convergence between media and telecoms has not exactly moved at a speedy pace, no standard telecommunications act has officially been put in place and regulations from the State Council has not been forthcoming. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television are the main regulatory bodies, and neither has been advancing movement to bring mobile to the masses. The major telecoms, including China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, as well as a vast array of cable TV operators, are run by the state, leaving a divide in respect to free market and competition. A monopoly does not work well in this growing new mobile TV field and the State Council is the body that can act to break things up leading the way to advancement and widespread consumer acceptance.
An official telecommunications act, being worked on now, would be a bold first step in promoting fair competition and advancing convergence in these growing market segments. Many broadcasters and telecom companies have been in a holding pattern. They are eager to push funding into developing next-generation systems concerning mobile, but until a deregulation plan is in place and an open market is at least ramped up, progress may be slow. One thing is for sure and that is competition will be heated, with many companies tightly focused on getting a large chunk of this huge, profitable new market.