Monday, August 08, 2005

Television Tailored for Mobile Phones

There has been a lot of buzz of regarding the mobile phone being the next frontier for watching television. The International Herald Tribune (site registration required) looks at the many challenges facing the industry as it tries to bring mobile TV to the masses.

Analyst Jessica Sandin of UK-firm Informa said, "The concept of TV is so familiar to people that it has captivated a lot of people in the industry,but the jury's still out on whether there is a market for this." By 2010, Informa predicts "291 million people worldwide will use mobile video services, up from about 53 million this year."

The article outlines the many roadblocks in place. "Before true mobile broadcast services can take off, a number of questions have to be answered: Which of at least five delivery methods, ranging from cellular technology to mobile broadcasting via separate wireless frequencies, works best? How will the relationship between television content providers, channel owners and mobile phone operators evolve? What kind of programming, if any, do mobile viewers want, and how much will they be willing to pay for it?"

The last question is critical. If the price is right with a good selection of programming for those on the go (i.e. news, traffic, weather, ESPN, music videos, cartoons, etc), there is a better chance consumers will soon be clamoring, "I want my M(obile)TV"...