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Free Mobile TV is Big Around the World

SUNNYVALE, CALIF.: Telegent Systems said today that it shipped its 100 millionth analog mobile TV receiver chip in October.

“Free-to-air mobile TV is quite popular with emerging-market consumers around the world, leading to continuing rapid growth in demand over the last year for analog mobile TV receivers,” said Telegent CEO Ford Tamer.

Samsung, ZTE and Tianyu incorporate Telegent chips, as well as “more than 100 design houses and original equipment manufacturers in Taiwan and China,” the company said. “Handsets developed by these manufacturers are shipped around the world, with strongest demand in Southeast Asia and Latin America, followed by Africa, the Middle East and India.”

Telegent said this month it started sampling a hybrid ISDB-T/analog mobile TV receiver that enables both digital and analog TV reception, targeting users in Latin America. Telegent said it’s “also continuing to drive aggressive innovation in its analog mobile TV receiver product line on dimensions such as picture quality, power consumption and chip size.”

Telegent’s announcement included a prognostication from Will Strauss with Forward Concepts: “Free-to-air mobile TV receivers continue to dominate the mobile TV landscape through 2014, with analog mobile TV accounting for half of industry shipments. We estimate annual shipments in 2014 at 198 million units, with three mobile TV standards emerging as the volume leaders--analog, ISDB-T1 and CMMB.”

The Mobile DTV standard in the United States is ATSC M/H.

Telegent’s Tamer predicted that the market for analog mobile TV will continue to grow, particularly in Latin America where ISDB-T handsets can be had on the cheap. The Cricket World Cup will drive TV phone adoption in Asia, he said. Interactive services also are expected to increasingly be integrated with mobile TV viewing, opening up revenue opportunities for operators, broadcasters and service providers.