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Consumers walk away from mobile TV

13 февраля 2008

New research paints worrying picture of mobile TV usage, but also highlights revenue opportunity if quality issues can be solved.

Growth in users giving up on mobile TV services is outpacing growth in new users, according to new research published at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday.

But the study also showed there is a sizeable revenue opportunity if operators are able to overcome the quality issues currently associated with mobile TV.

The mobile TV market in Europe and
North America showed 36% growth between January and November 2007, a survey commissioned by Tellabs and conducted by M:Metrics showed; it also revealed that former mobile TV users grew by 68% during the same period.

"The growth is there in mobile TV," said Pat Dolan, vice president for EMEA at Tellabs. But because of certain issues, "[the number of] people that are trying the service and then walking away from it is still increasing."

The research included customers from all the mobile operators offering TV services in
France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.

"The overall market is not increasing at the pace at which we think it should be," said Dolan.
"They're voting with their feet."

Users surveyed identified price as the main barrier to mobile TV usage, followed by quality and reliability issues.

But, according to M:Metrics' calculations, solving those quality issues could create a revenue opportunity of $270 million, a figures that the analyst firm derived in part from the fact that 60% of ex-mobile TV users said they would be willing to pay to watch mobile TV again provided service quality and reliability improved significantly in the coming year.

Decreases in the amount of available bandwidth "will impact the user experience," affecting load time, picture quality, sound, and the service dropping altogether.

"Operators are now starting to realise they have bottlenecks in their networks," said Dolan. They are seeing "the need for an efficient and flexible bandwidth delivery mechanism."

As an equipment vendor, Tellabs' focus is on the network side, but there are other elements to a successful mobile TV service.

"There will be some serious dollars spent on the marketing," said Dolan. Content is also vital: "getting that right as well is key," he added.

Germany, for example, choice was identified as the second most importance concern, both in terms of the channels on offer, and the different options and packages available.

"Price is certainly an issue," Dolan said, noting that average prices are around $10-$12 per month at present.

"That will come down," as there are more competitive offerings on the market, he predicted. "Then it will come down to quality."

Источник: Total Telecom

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