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Mobile TV Techonology Will Be Region Specific

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IMS Research has made the (fairly safe) prediction that mobile TV technologies will be very regional in coming years. So, by 2011, 60 percent of worldwide mediaFLO subscribers will be in the Americas, 61 percent of worldwide DVB-H/DVB-SH subscribers will be in Europe, most T-DMB subscribers will be in Korea and most ISDB-T viewers will be in Japan reports Broadband TV News. None of that is surprising — what I’d like to find out is where the rest of those subscribers of the various technologies will be.

There have been a few minor mobile TV announcements, such as Vcast launching in Arkansas. In Australia, 3 is trialing MBMS technology with Ericsson, reports Mobilised. It was just a technical trial, and 3 was positive but non-committal about it, saying it would “keep and eye” on the technology…handsets will be available in 2008. Meanwhile, legislators in Spain are using the new Bill on New Technology and Society (LISI) to regulate mobile TV and digital satellite radio. Both operators and broadcasters are keen to get into the market: “Results of pilot projects on mobile television in Spain carried out by national and private channels, operators dedicated to transmitting television signals (Abertis, Axion, Castilla-La Mancha Telecom) together with mobile telephone companies (Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange) found that users spent between 16 and 25 minutes a day using this service although a fifth used it for between 30 and 60 minutes. Users tended to opt principally for conventional television programmes and music” reports EuroResidentes. The article doesn’t detail what technology is being planned, but talk about mobile and terrestrial existing side-by-side, and Spain uses DVB-T. With the EU’s gentle prodding I’m guessing DVB-H. The Spanish government predicts that the market in mobile television will be worth around 20,000 million euros (US$26.86 billion) by 2015 and will be used by approximately 200 million people in Europe.