New initiative for mass market mobile TV devices

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 

To shape mass markets for mobile TV, the Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum (bmcoforum) initiates activities worldwide to provide manifold mobile TV enabled devices for the respective markets and technologies

BERLIN — Fifteen service providers and broadcast network operators worldwide in bmcoforum launched an initiative to unify their handset demand towards vendors in order to speed up market introduction of new handsets. These are 3, Orange and MEDIA BROADCAST from Austria, 3 Italy, MEDIA BROADCAST from Germany, Antenna Hungaria, Dominanta and KENTAVR from Russia, DStv Mobile from Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia and Kenya, Safaricom from Kenya, Digita from Finland, INFO-TV-FM from Poland, KPN from the Netherlands as well as Mediaquest and Smart from the Philippines.

These companies have jointly signed a letter that requests the update of mobile phone roadmaps and an offer to discuss the development of common handset requirements based on the bmcoforum published profiles. The objective is to have a variety of DVB-H enabled devices available as soon as possible, preferably for the FIFA football world cup in Q2 2010.

All signatories run or will provide commercial DVB-H services and networks for Mobile TV in the short term. So far they have invested substantial budgets in the development of Mobile TV via DVB-H in our countries. But all of them are concerned with the lack of substantial roadmaps for new DVB-H phones which bears a serious risk for the market success of the technology in our and future markets.

Within the Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum (bmcoforum) the companies also agreed on actions which will support the vendors in the introduction of new devices in their markets.

“Mobile TV is for a mass market audience which needs to be served by a wide range of attractive devices,” said Marco Visser, Director KPN Mobile, The Netherlands.

“The FIFA football world cup 2010 may give a push to mobile TV usage across the African countries in which we operate. For that we need affordable devices with integrated DVB-H receivers,” said Francois Theron, CEO, DStv Mobile Africa.

“Promotion of broadcast mobile TV should be experiential to highlight its high quality video and audio. This is where device manufacturers play a crucial role in providing the market with low cost units to encourage first time users to experience broadcast mobile TV and become the catalyst for vital growth,” said Orlando B. Vea, CEO, MediaQuest, Philippines.

“Mobile TV has finally turned into a realistic expectation for Russian subscribers, especially after recently overcoming key regulatory barriers. This should translate directly into higher profits for manufacturers through expansion of product lines as well as for operators attracting new subscribers and increasing ARPU,” said Andrey A. Chernikov, CEO Dominanta LLC (Russia).

“We see an increasing potential for broadcast mobile networks to deliver mobile TV services in a highly cost effective manner and with a high standard of quality and availability. This potential will only be unlocked by an improved visibility of suitable devices. A renewed dialogue between service providers and the leading handset brands will provide this visibility,” said Patrick Babin, CEO of the TDF group (Antenna Hungaria, Digita, Media Broadcast, TDF).