Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mobile TV next big money spinner, but who profits? writes that network operators are hoping "mobile TV will be the next big money spinner, but if South Korea is anything to go by, their optimism may be misplaced."

According to the article, operators in "Asia, Europe and the United States are gearing up for mobile TV broadcasting, a market that could be worth $8.4 billion by 2010, according to London-based Informa Telecoms & Media."

Eleana Liew at Gartner said, "I think content providers and broadcasters may be the two parties that will benefit from mobile broadcasting. You don't need mobile operators' networks to broadcast. The value that operators give to customers is very low."

While existing TV services for mobile phones or video downloads are provided over 3G networks, "live mobile TV technologies like Korea's DMB, Europe's DVB-H and Qualcomm MediaFlo all bypass mobile networks."

The article states that in Korea, "ten months after flat-rate satellite digital media broadcasting (DMB) for mobile phones started in South Korea, it accounts for less than 0.2 percent of total revenue at the country's top mobile operator SK Telecom" with content providers and a TV network scooping "up 75 percent of SK's revenue generated from its DMB service."

Stan Jung at Woori Investment & Securities said, "For telecoms operators, mobile TV is a public service rather than an income generator."

Gartner estimates "at least 10 percent of global mobile phone users will subscribe to TV service by 2009, though it will depend on pricing and regulations in various countries." Michael King at Gartner said, "Japan and Korea have already shown people will buy profitable TV services. I just don't know that a similar dynamic will take place in the rest of the world."