Mobile TV's long march to profit

21 Apr 2008
00:00

Nokia has admitted what we've long known: mobile TV is treading water.

European cellcos and consumers are resistant to Nokia's dedicated DVB-H mobile TV technology, an executive told an industry conference.

We should be so surprised.

As others have noted, it's odd that the mobile world is pushing a broadcast model at a time when the broadcast world is evolving to on-demand.

It was always going to be difficult to ask operators to pony up for yet more infrastructure.

Right now they are entering the sweet spot (or at least, the slightly less tart spot) of the mobile broadband market. They are moving past the early adopters and starting to sell in volume to new smartphone owners who aren't afraid to download.

It's hard to see how TV programming can be attractive as music, video downloads or web browsing to HSPA users right now.

The other part of this is the attitude of advertisers. They're a conservative lot by nature, and they're still waiting for the consumers to come. For their part, consumers won't be pleased at being charged for content saturated by ads.

So all the mobile TV business lacks is users, scale and a business model that's accepted all round. Oh, and a few less standards.

Don't adjust your set. It's not on.

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