UTStarcom, a USA-based provider of internet protocol TV (IPTV), next generation networks (NGN), and broadband services, said it is ready for a commercial launch of its Mobile IPTV services, and that it is currently in talks with various service providers.
Vijay Yadav, managing director, UTStarcom, told Telecom Yatra, “We are presently in talks with various telecom operators. The technology is already here. It will be available in the market shortly.”
Mobile IPTV extends multimedia services such as TV, videos, data etc, over IP-based networks to mobile networks.
The service will be available for use via a URL link or an on device portal. The bandwidth requirement, informed Yadav, is typically between 40Kbps-2Mbps depending on screen resolution.
“We noticed that bandwidth of around 80Kbps will provide satisfactory video and audio playback using the 2.5G network to carry mobile IPTV,” he said.
On a 3G network bandwidth of 144kpps will be available for mobile IPTV in a high speed moving environment, 384 Kbps in a slow moving environment and 2Mbps in a stationary environment.
Maximum bandwidth speed of 75 Mbps will be available through WiMax IEEE 803.11g, and 20 Mbps will be available on LTE network.
As far as pricing the service is concerned it would totally depend on the plans offered by the service provider, said Yadav.
UTStarcom is already offering IPTV services with Airtel in India and hence there is a chance that we can see Airtel to be one of the first few service providers offering the service.
Mobile TV features:The service will be similar to mobile TV services that CDMA carriers such as Tata Indicom and RCom will offer over their EVDO networks. However, the key difference would be the interactive features like time shifted viewing of live channels. This feature allows user to pause live TV or watch some of the pre recorded content later, just like on a normal IPTV on the bigger screen.
Other features of mobile TV include user generated content that will provide social networking experience to users. Twitter and Facebook allows users to see videos of friends and families.
Content includes free to air, subscription based national and international broadcasts.
Video on demand, TVOD (wherein mobisodes of popular programs can be viewed by the user), free or pay per view on demand features including films, TV programs, and specially produced programs that are offered at zero or minimal additional cost to the subscriber.
Potential of the serviceUTStarcom has already launched this service in China last year, and has observed that content is consumed most by people on the move, who typically have a big screen phone.
Yadav feels, “Mobile IPTV definitely has tremendous scope in India since mobile phones are the communication technology with the highest acceptance here. Mobiles are among the most personal devices that people have with them at all times. It gives TV viewing users freedom of choice and location. Plus, with the added features of IPTV now accessible on your mobile phone, this technology is bound to take off.
A recent study by Cisco also indicates that volume of video traffic is expected to grow 151 per cent in the period of 2008 to 2013 and Western Europe and APAC will account for 60 per cent of mobile traffic in 2013.
Yadav believes that the mobile TV has not picked up mainly due to the lack of quality. The delay in 3G spectrum in India has also held back the technology.
Going ahead, UTStarcom sees continued limited storage capacity in mobiles and limited coverage in remote areas as possible hindrances to the popularity of the service.
He further adds, “In India we have seen a pent up demand for consuming video. And given that mobile phones are most pervasive, video consumption would go up as search and discovery is made easy with UTStarcom’s mobile IPTV solution.”