Telecommunications, Automotive and Market Research

More than 15 years in the mobile telecommunications industry and an industry analyst since 1998.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

What we're doing here

I've been covering mobile applications, devices and networks for over 15 years and have gotten a pretty good idea about what will work and what won't, particularly in the US.  We've seen plenty of fads, fantastic ideas, and just poor thinking in the name of chasing down the dollars from the pockets of mobile consumers.

One of my favorite topics, though, is mobile video.  At this point, I think it is one of the most misunderstood topics, in part because it's so difficult to define.  All of these things are fit the definition of mobile video and TV.

  • MobiTV and GoTV, which stream video content to mobile phones
  • MediaFLO and DVB-H, which use a separate broadcast network to send TV shows to mobile phones
  • 1-Seg, the extremely popular mobile TV station that works a lot like MediaFLO but it's free. Comes from Japan but gaining a foothold in South America as well.
  • Mobile Digital TV which in the US, will soon be available using the ATSC Mobile/Handheld specification
The one I think has the greatest chance in the US right now is Mobile DTV for one primary reason: It uses exactly the same business model that has been since commercial broadcasting started in the 1920s. An advertiser supports the production of original content by paying the broadcaster. The signal is received at no additional charge via a receiver purchased from a consumer electronics store. It will work because it has worked for over 80 years.

The other alternatives rely on so many new connections, new business models, new relationships among the players (and new players) and make the one huge jump that consumers are resisting: paying for something that has been otherwise free.

I'll have a lot more on this, but this is my mobile video manifesto... a lot of things will start from these assumptions.

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