By the look of things, you’d think U.S. consumers were demanding ways to watch TV on their mobile phones. But studies show, again and again, they’re not. But a few equipment vendors in the WiMax space are throwing the facts under a truck and rolling out end-to-end WiMax television networks for mobile handsets. These are for over-the-air broadcasts similar to the DVB-H networks of Europe and the MediaFLO networks in the United States as compared to services such as MobiTV.
Yesterday, UDCast said it was teaming up with LG Electronics and Harris Corp to deliver a WiMax-based mobile TV network. It has experience building and deploying DVB-H networks, which failed to catch on here in the United States. It joins NextWave Wireless, which has also announced its product, built into combined equipment from Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei and other partners, to deliver WiMax TV to mobiles.
Such networks would allow carriers to deliver several broadcast television channels to mobile handsets, so users can watch the latest baseball game or episode of The Office as it airs. It would compete with Verizon’s V-Cast Service, which is based on Qualcomm’s MediaFLO network, and similar offerings coming from AT&T. For WiMax-based services, potential service providers in the U.S. include Sprint for its yet-to-be-launched Xohm service, Clearwire and some rural WiMax players such as Xanadoo.
Now that WiMax has its own mobile television offering, we’ll see if anyone wants it.