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Cell phone, mobile TV may not live up to growth forecasts, says Datamonitor

A new report from Datamonitor questions the forecasts for the astronomical growth of broadcast television to mobile handsets.

The report, “Broadcast TV to mobile — a solution looking for a problem?,” provides an overview of the trials across the world and the prospects for broadcast to mobile TV revenue through 2008.

The report points out that with spectrum rights largely unresolved in many markets worldwide, planned commercial launches could be delayed.

According to Datamonitor analyst Adrian Drozd, several factors, including spectrum allocation, costly handsets, an unwillingness on the part of consumers to pay a monthly fee for the service, and operators seeking to advance 3G video service, not broadcast TV to mobile handsets are all potential impediments to growth.

The report says three different technologies are fighting it out to be the standard for mobile TV broadcast technology — DVB-H, DMB and MediaFLO — with a fourth, ISDB-T, unlikely to gain any traction outside of Japan.

While DMB is the only technology currently being used in commercial services (in South Korea), DVB-H and MediaFLO services are expected to become available later this year. According to Datamonitor, each has its advantages and disadvantages, but in terms of global market share, DVB-H will be the long-term leader.

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