Nokia proposes mobile TV standard

May 15, 2005

Nokia has proposed its version of a standardized method for delivering broadcast digital TV to handsets in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

The DVB-H standard competes with a host of other similar technologies, including Qualcomm’s new MediaFlo. Companies supporting DVB-H say it’s less expensive and allows a quicker product turnaround, CNET News reported.

DVB-H supporters also include U.K. wireless operators O2; multicast operator Crown Castle Mobile Media, which plans to build a mobile TV network; cell phone infrastructure equipment provider UDcast; and a number of chipmakers including Texas Instruments and Intel.

Nokia’s move supports the wireless industry’s view that there’s a sizable market for mobile TV fare, including movies, news clips and standard programming typically found on TVs.

So far, Verizon Wireless and other operators offering TV services are finding them a hard sell, according to research group Informa. This year, Verizon expects to sell only about 130,000 video handsets, suggesting the worldwide market for them is commensurately small, CNET said.

Informa concluded in a recent study that 125 million people — about 5 percent of all cell phone owners — would watch TV on their handsets by 2010.

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