U.S. Slow to Join Global Wave of Mobile TV Growth

A new study released yesterday says half a billion people around the world are expected to tune in to mobile TV by 2013—a market that is estimated at, oh, $50 billion or so.

But the study’s author told me that in the United States, where Qualcomm’s MediaFlo is the leading technology, the growth of mobile TV is expected to remain sluggish. Among other things, American consumers don’t yet see the value in paying more to be able to tune into TV on the go. “The US hasn’t really latched on to the value of mobile TV so far because it’s constantly seen as an add-on from this a la carte menu of cellular services,” says Jeff Orr, a senior analyst for mobile content with New York-based ABI Research. Orr is the author of ABI’s study, “The Mobile TV Market,” a 72-page market analysis that reviews the key technologies, services, network infrastructure, content, and other elements of the global business.

MediaFlo provides mobile TV service for Verizon Wireless and AT&T cellular networks in the United States. Qualcomm has spent hundreds of millions of dollars expanding its network, which uses the 700 MHz spectrum, and MediaFlo had planned to launch its service in perhaps as many as 12 new cities the day after analog TV broadcasters switched to digital technology on Feb. 17th.

Some analog broadcasters still plan to vacate the 700 MHz spectrum, also known as Channel 55, even though Congress recently approved a four-month delay in … Next Page »

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