Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Jupiter: Mobile Video Broadcast

Julie Ask posts about new LG and Samsung DVB-H and MediaFLO handsets for the mobile TV market at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs. Things are starting to move in this market as "Verizon has already announced that they will move forward with MediaFLO while Crown Castle (US vendor for DVB-H) is not yet announced a carrier partner." Ask believes "the launch of broadcast TV/video to mobile handsets should happen in the US in the latter part of 2006 - at least with MediaFLO."

While excited about"growing consumer awareness and adoption of mobile video." Ask believes "there is still a long road ahead for the carriers. Current adoption of mobile video is still in the low single digits among mobile subscribers despite the launch more than two years ago in 11/03 by MobiTV/Sprint."

Ask then writes about spending the holidays in Ohio and polling her relatives on loaner phones and services she was testing. She notes "all of them are older than 35 and outside of the target demographic, but I wanted to get their reaction anyway."

She provides some very interesting mobile insights about what plays (and doesn't play well in middle America. Price seems to rule over all other considerations. Ask concludes that

Watching the types of business models the carriers roll out to drive adoption will be interesting towards the end of 2006 and early 2007. How long will it be before these new handsets are free to the mobile subscriber?
My guess is pretty quick as DVB-H and MediaFLO will require consumers to upgrade to new handsets. Just remember, it didn't take too long for Cingular to quickly drop the price of the Motorola Rokr from its original $199 price point....