Analyst Report: Report: A Global Mobile Video Forecast, 2011 – 2015


Mobile video has undergone a difficult period sorting out appropriate business models in order to gain traction and, with that, substantial revenue generation. However, in 2011 there will be important changes in the worldwide mobile video market as consumers make their selections for how they view video and TV on mobile devices, and as viable business models for delivery surface.

This report, the second in a two-part series devoted to exploring mobile video, covers global use of mobile TV and video services delivered to a variety of devices via cellular and broadcast networks for the period between 2011 and 2015.

The best way to consider mobile TV and mobile video is to differentiate between business models rather than technologies. Because of the potential overlap among technologies, this research focuses on business models.

The report forecasts three types of business models for delivering mobile video:

  • Free-to-air delivers TV content over a separate broadcast network to a variety of mobile devices.
  • Cellular TV is delivered by a broadcast network solely to mobile phones for a monthly fee.
  • Unicast video is streamed and downloaded video delivered over a cellular data network.

During 2011, this forecast anticipates there will be more than 410 million users of mobile video worldwide. That number will increase to more than 810 million by 2015. Roughly two thirds of the latter number will use unicast video, a fact owing to the rapid increase in the number of smartphones and the expansion of third- and fourth- generation (3G and 4G) networks throughout the world.

The growth of free-to-air video will come from the U.S., where the ATSC M/H (Advanced Television Systems Committee-Mobile/Handheld) standard has been accepted by broadcasters, and from developing nations, where economic conditions and national standards support mobile usage. Growth will be limited in areas where digital TV standards have not yet been adopted or a digital TV transition has not been mandated by the national regulator.

The cellular TV model, characterized by technolgies like DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld) and MediaFLO, has stumbled or failed altogether. It has struggled worldwide, with operators in the U.S. and Europe abandoning their spectrum when they were unable to attract enough subscribers to make these expensive systems profitable. These systems are also plagued by a lack of compatible cellular handsets.


This forecast is broken down into the following regions:

  • Americas (including North America and Latin America)
  • Europe (including Eastern and Western Europe)
  • Middle East and Africa
  • Asia and Australia

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Definitions of Mobile Video
  3. Global Mobile TV and Video, 2011-2015
  4. Regional Adoption by Technology
  5. Appendix A: Definitions and Acronyms
  6. Further Reading
  7. About David Chamberlain
  8. About GigaOM Pro

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