With 2009 promising to be an economically tough row to hoe and credit markets constipated, operators may be tempted to slow down planned rollouts of new services and applications. But that's the wrong move in an increasingly competitive market, said mobile TV chipmaker Telegent, which offers some advice to operators on beating the capex crunch.
Managing capital expenditure is standard housekeeping in rough economic times, as ABI Research pointed out in its recent report, "Mobile Operator Capital Expenditure Analysis." Mobile TV operators are experiencing the same imperative to manage capital expenditure as anyone else these days, not to speak of equally daunting credit conditions. According to ABI, operators now feel pushed to deliver innovative new applications and services such as mobile TV, music downloading and social networking while saving capital expenditure for such essentials as infrastructure upgrades and new equipment.
“Despite the downturn in the global economy, the telecom services market is becoming even more competitive — operators cannot afford to stop innovating and offering new applications and services,” said Weijie Yun, Telegent Systems president and CEO. “But innovative new services don’t always need to have a massive impact on capital expenditure. Mobile TV, one of the services most in demand, can be delivered right now and without any significant investment in infrastructure.”
Telegent’s approach to launching mobile TV in the capex crunch:
Use existing services and networks in new ways. Global operators are targeting emerging markets where there's an existing broadcast network and analog won't be switched off soon. Rather than spend millions rolling out new mobile TV-specific networks, make it so consumers can buy handsets that receive the existing analog signal.
Use the existing broadcast signal. Don’t add to your traffic load if you don’t need to. It costs a lot to upgrade a mobile network to support TV services over data in scale and to shift the data generated by mobile TV. But using the existing broadcast signal doesn't add to the traffic load and frees space and money for other services.
Do it now. In a highly competitive market, operators need to get services to market fast. Handsets that reliably deliver analog TV already exist. There are geographies currently without a comprehensive mobile TV service that could have one up and running within weeks — with existing proven networks and content.
Use familiar programming. Consumers love new services with familiar content. Mobile TV that uses an existing broadcast network delivers both — attracting new customers, growing revenues and reducing churn. It also stimulates consumers to use more SMS and voice services as their handsets evolve into their main entertainment devices.
Pave the way for premium services and add-on revenue models. Free mobile TV enhances the chances to earn revenue from paid-for services, because it accustoms consumers to TV viewing on mobile devices, thus opening the door to tiered services — just like the mainstream broadcast TV model.
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