3G success will kill off DVB-H, says SpeedCast

John C. Tanner
16 Jun 2010

Mobile TV has a bright future in Asia, but not for broadcast technologies like DVB-H, says satellite firm SpeedCast.

Asia has all the ingredients for mass market takeup of mobile TV services: low-penetration markets for free-to-air and pay-TV broadcast services and growing 3G penetration, said Stephane Palomba, head of Asia Pacific sales for SpeedCast.

“In many emerging markets, pay-TV penetration is less than 2%, and TV set penetration of households is under 30% in markets like Pakistan,” Palomba said during a conference session on mobile VAS yesterday.

Meanwhile, the dropping costs of 3G handsets and services will translate to 40% of mobile users in Asia using 3G-level services by 2013, he added.

But the rise of 3G as a mobile TV enabler comes at the expense of broadcast mobile TV technologies like DVB-H, which has seen few deployments worldwide.

“The main selling points of DVB-H was that it delivered high-quality video and better battery life for longer viewing times,” Palomba said. “But 3G handsets have improved battery life quite a lot, and even with a HSPA network, you can achieve video streams of 256-328 kbps, which is similar quality to DVB-H.”

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