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Mobile TV: The global experience (Part 2)

By: Supriya Bhattacharjee, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi Last updated : August 16, 2018 7:39 pm

Apart from India, mobile TV is currently offered in South Korea, Japan, Africa, USA, Europe, China, Malaysia and Brazil, among other countries.
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The mobile TV market has witnessed significant growth, globally, over the past few years. Apart from India, mobile TV is currently offered in South Korea, Japan, Africa, USA, Europe, China, Malaysia and Brazil, among other countries. Mobile TV services have been launched in a limited area around the world and only to a targeted audience.
As per a February report by market research company RNCOS, the number of mobile TV subscribers in the world is expected to grow by 45 per cent between 2009 and 2013 and it is predicted to touch 450 million by the end of 2013. The report also says that Asia Pacific will dominate the global mobile TV market and constitute around 67 per cent of the global mobile TV subscriber base by 2013.
South Africa's Vodacom had launched the first mobile TV service on 3G handsets in December 2005. In June 2009, Nokia Siemens Networks started offering UAE-based mobile TV provider DM TV with a digital video broadcasting handheld (DVB-H) solution in Ghana, Kenya, Namibia and Nigeria.
In South Korea, mobile TV is largely divided into satellite digital mobile broadcast (DMB) and terrestrial DMB. Although satellite DMB initially had more content, terrestrial DMB has gained much wider popularity because it is free and is included as a feature in most mobile handsets sold in the country today.
Japan started offering mobile TV services in 2006 and broadcasters Nippon Television, Fuji Television and TV Asahi were among the companies that signed partnerships with mobile operators. According to Hong Kong-based analyst Thomas Crampton, “In Japan, regulation saying that broadcasts to mobile must be the same as those on TV was lifted in 2008. Thus, a key driver for new media platforms is exclusive content that people can’t get anywhere else. There is another Japanese law that stops people recording (TV) programs in their homes, but allows them to do so using their mobile phones. While broadcasters transmit their channels live, many people are watching TV on their mobiles in a non-linear way.”
In April 2007, broadcasters in the USA joined together with the intention of introducing a single standard for device manufacturers to deliver mobile TV. This move brought Samsung and LG together in a partnership. In May 2008, the two companies announced their plan to take a possible mobile TV standard to the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ASTC), which establishes standards for digital TV transmission. In December 2008, the ATSC published ATSC Mobile DTV as a possible standard and after six months, this standard was made final. As of now, some TV stations in Chicago, Washington DC and other States are broadcasting ATSC Mobile DTV as trials. The group has announced it will perform consumer trials in Washington DC, and more tests will take place in 2009 and early 2010, with products expected to hit the market in 2010.
Recently, some broadcasters in the USA announced that they are forming a joint venture to develop a national mobile service, including live and on-demand video, local and national news and entertainment from both TV and print companies, and that they will pool spectrum to be able to reach about 150 million USA-based consumers. Their goal is for broadcasters to be able to transmit the same TV signals that they do today, to mobile devices such as phones, cars and portable consumer electronics, without much financial investment. This is expected to further assist the growth of mobile TV there.


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