Telecommunications, Automotive and Market Research

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

Monday, October 11, 2010

Finally! Mobile Video Becoming Important

During the controversial runup to deploying third-generation (3G) networks, several infrastructure vendors were touting mobile video as the reason to upgrade from GPRS to UMTS. You have to remember, this was 1999, and the Palm Treo was almost two years away.  I was pretty astounded by the projections that subscribers -- particularly those in Europe -- would be willing to increase their monthly spending by US$12 for the privilege of watching video on their phones.  That was an increase, by the way, of about 50%. Pretty ambitious, huh?

Today, Microsoft rolled out several new Windows 7 models with AT&T, T-Mobile and others.

The HTC HD7 was rolled out by T-Mobile (along with several other Windows 7 handsets).  As with other recent HTC phones, this one is oriented toward video with an extra-large screen and the kickstand that premiered on Sprint's 4G EVO (also a product of HTC)

What we're really seeing here is -- finally -- all the pieces coming together. No, it's not 1999 or even 2005, but by 2010, we're finally seeing phones and networks that are ready for video. But are people paying $12 for mobile video?  No, not in most cases.  But here in the US at least, they are paying for access to a number of mobile data applications, including video. And, ultimately, it's more than $12/month.

Maybe those projections weren't so wild after all. Just premature.


  1. yes, but big issue is that video is over the top versus operator provided in most cases

  2. That's true, Daryl. I think the problem in the past -- the problem that has delayed mobile video for so long -- is that the operator needed to have a finger in the pie (hence the $15/month charge for MediaFLO). Once the operators can start realizing the profit is in the data access plan rather than the price of the video content, the market will be freed to take off.