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Mobile broadcast TV not dead, but on life support

02 марта 2010

New figures from bmcoforum show that mobile broadcast TV across Europe is in a sorry state. The forum has released a status update on mobile TV across the continent that shows that in country after country, launches have either stalled, are late, or have not met with much visible success.

Austria, which launched mobile broadcast TV in 2008 to coincide with the European football championships and had 10,000 DVB-H subscribers by the end of October 2008, has added no subscribers since then. Media Broadcast, the Austrian mobile broadcast service provider, will not renew its contract with the mobile operators at the end of 2010. And the bcmoforum states that "most operators do not actively market mobile broadcast TV services any more".

"The major drawback is the lack of attractive terminals," the report said.

The Czech Reupblic has no plans hold a mobile TV tender as there is "currently no interest in DVB-H services from both operators and customers," according to the forum.

In Finland where the first DVB-H license was awarded to Digita in 2006, the deployed network now covers the regulatory minimum of 40% of the population, and the commercial launch did not happen until October 2009.

Even in France, which looked at one stage as if it was going to get its act together in a coordinated way, things have stalled.

"A launch of Mobile TV seems quite uncertain," said the report, with the CSA stalling on authorising the 16 companies that have been selected to provide service on the mobile broadcast multiplex. This seems to be because there is no business model - with neither sponsored (advertising) models, or a hybrid wholesale model sponsored by TDF.

The cost of delivery of services is also a major hold-up. And there is also the fact that French operators have done will with 3G mobile TV services, and see no clear incentive, as yet, to move to broadcast.

In Germany, authorities are now looking for a "second chance" for mobile broadcast TV, following the stalling of the process back in 2008 when the platform provider handed back its licence.

Despite Antenna Hungaria holding a licence in Hungary to provide DVB-H in Hungary for a 12 year period from 2008, the mobile operators have shown little interest in distributing and marketing the service, the bmcoforum said.

Italy shows more progress in actually having services, and under two different models. Vodafone and TIM rent services from Mediaset, while 3 Italy is pursuing a vertically integrated model, having acquired Canale 7 in 2005, Yet even here the bmcoforum considers that growth has been slowed by a lack of handset availability, and consumers being offered little free to air content.

In the Netherlands KPN launched services in 2008, and said it had 40,000 users by the end of November 2009 - with a market offering of free services for the first 24 months.

Poland offers better news with INFO-TV-FM being granted a license in June 2009, and conducting consumer trials until the end of the year. Bmcoforum said that trials show that consumers are interested in purchasing the new service.

In Russia, YOTA and VimpelCom are in trial mode, with the WiMax provider offering 8 channels free of charge, and VimpelCom offering 12 channels that will eventually be priced at €3.5 a month, with an upgraded package up to €12 a month.

And Switzerland shows just 3,000 subscribers in the whole country to a DVB-H service launched by Swisscom in 2008.

Источник: Mobile Europe

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