Home North AmericaNorth America 2007 Mobile TV comes to life

Mobile TV comes to life

by david.nunes
Stefan SchneidersIssue:North America 2007
Article no.:12
Topic:Mobile TV comes to life
Author:Stefan Schneiders
Title:Mobile TV Business Development in the Business Line Applications
Organisation:Nokia Siemens Networks
PDF size:228KB

About author

Stefan Schneiders is responsible for the business development of Mobile TV in the Business Line Applications at Nokia Siemens Networks. In his most recent position he was responsible for Business Development Mobile Broadcast at Siemens Networks. Before that assignment he was COO for the international consortium PayCircle and supported the Open Mobile Alliances M-Commerce Working Group as Vice Chairman. Mr Schneiders has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Over the past decade, Mr Schneiders has been involved in industry innovations, including Mobile Payment, Information Security and Biometrics. Mr Schneiders has a degree in Computer Science from the Bundeswehr University in Neubiberg near Munich.

Article abstract

Mobile TV is growing 50 per cent per year – by 2011, 500 million people will be watching. Mobile TV is personalized and interactive; subscribers can view what they want, when and where they want it. Mobile operators have the infrastructure to control and bill subscribers; broadcasters have the infrastructure to transmit mobile TV. By working together they can build revenues and minimize investment. For broadcasters, mobile TV provides a way to deal with the flattening of traditional TV viewing patterns.

Full Article

Mobile TV is now a commercial reality, and the impact on the communications industry is profound. In 2006, we saw pilots; now we are seeing commercial launches. Trials and rollouts are underway in more than 20 countries, with many more coming in the second half of 2007 and early 2008. The convergence of mobile communications and broadcast media will lead to new expectations on the part of consumers and put pressure on operators to deliver. Analysts predict that by the end of 2011 nearly a half billion people will be watching TV on their mobile phones, with 50 per cent year-on-year growth. Mobile and hybrid fixed/mobile network operators are well positioned to tap into this huge new market. The ability to offer favourite TV content on a mobile phone will soon be a powerful competitive differentiator. The mobile TV experience differs in a variety of ways from traditional viewing. After more than half a century of traditional broadcasting, TV is becoming personalized and interactive, taking advantage of advances in telecommunications and a new generation of handheld multimedia devices. Operators providing mobile TV services will offer packages of popular channels, together with premium content at an additional charge. In addition, users will be able to interact with the broadcast content in different ways – from chats, quizzes and voting to product purchases, video downloads and live betting. This is just the beginning – expect to see a steadily growing wave of interactive services as mobile TV takes hold. Consumers now expect to be able to control their own media consumption, independent of time and location. It means they want choices in the channels available, in the opportunities to interact, in supplementary services such as podcasts and video-on-demand. It also means they want the widest choice of devices and the ability to switch devices and suppliers in the future if they find something they like more. The new mobile broadcast technologies and multimedia user devices are making this flexibility possible. Those operators who can provide this flexibility will have the competitive advantage. New strategic partnerships For mobile and hybrid network operators, mobile TV complements current 2G/3G services while enabling further development of existing customer relationships. Customers – whether teenagers in the mall or workers on their lunch break – recognize a new and desirable service that is easy to understand and has obvious usage potential. Moreover, unlike traditional TV, there is now a return channel that allows them to participate in an interactive experience. The results for the operator include new revenue streams and a stronger brand image. While new players and alliances will emerge to compete in the mobile TV sector, the most efficient market penetration and fastest revenue growth is likely to come from cooperative relationships between mobile network operators and companies that build, operate and maintain broadcast networks. This cooperation will ensure the best coverage for mobile TV, both outdoors and within buildings, while reducing the investment risk for the needed infrastructure rollout. Because mobile operators have direct contact with the end user, they maintain customer records as well as the back-end infrastructure. This includes charging, billing, customer care, authentication and authorization – everything needed to manage the customer relationship. Accordingly, mobile operators with a large existing customer base will be able to expand their billing and customer care mechanisms easily to include mobile TV. For their part, broadcast network operators will be able to expand the usage of their existing infrastructure, such as high TV towers, to support the transmission of mobile TV, while making the most of capacity leasing. As their relationships with mobile operators to build out mobile TV coverage expand, so will their revenues. For broadcast network operators, the innovation of mobile TV provides an attractive way to secure profits far into the future – particularly with the flattening of traditional TV viewing patterns. New standards for interoperability Interoperability is the most important issue for mobile TV success, requiring broad support for open standards and a similarly open and competitive ecosystem that drives the huge success of GSM/WCDMA-based mobile telephony. Standards must ensure the greatest possible interoperability between network layers, as well as between different devices, to allow network operators to meet customer preferences. All the relevant open standards for mobile broadcast TV are ready today, providing the foundation for flexible deployments and the widest interoperability between all players. DVB-H – While existing UMTS and 3G technologies can provide mobile television services, their one-to-one communications format makes them fundamentally inefficient for broadcasting the same TV content to large numbers of users. As a non-proprietary open standard, DVB-H, Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld, has emerged as the leading technology standard for mass-distribution mobile broadcast TV. Wide backing from leading technology providers, network operators, broadcasters and content owners has hastened the commercial launch of DVB-H mobile TV services around the world. OMA BCAST – The Open Mobile Alliance, OMA, Broadcast Services Enabler Suite, BCAST, is a specification that defines standards for mobile broadcast services. It incorporates DVB-H broadcast networks and cellular systems as well as 3G MBMS, Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service. This allows network operators to extend their current 3G-based business models with current and future services available using the broadcast capabilities of DVB-H. BMCOFORUM – The bmcoforum, Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum, is an international association aimed at developing a worldwide open market for mobile broadcast services. Its implementation profile of OMA BCAST ensures the best possible interoperability between handsets and broadcast systems, providing customers with a consistent mobile TV experience and support for a growing range of affordable, high-quality handsets. New end-to-end solutions Putting these standards to work calls for a comprehensive broadcast mobile TV solution. The solution should include all the elements needed to bring a mobile TV offering to life, including a media delivery solution, underlying transport networks, DVB-H enabled devices and professional services. Turnkey packages based on end-to-end standards that ensure the widest interoperability between complementary technologies for mobile TV are available. Pilots and rollouts have already been deployed in many parts of the world. A modular service delivery platform at the heart of these solutions should support the different scenarios that can make up a mobile TV offering, including 3G video streaming, unicast content and interactive services for individual users, and DVB-H broadcast technology for mass distribution. For mobile and hybrid operators, such a platform would provide a clear evolution path from 3G streaming video towards mobile broadcast TV. Operators can deploy the media distribution technologies that make sense for their business models, and upgrade at their own pace. Catch the new wave More than two billion people around the world own or use mobile phones. Increasingly, consumers are using their mobile phones for multimedia – not just for communication but also for entertainment, news and information services. The personal TV experience represents the next big wave of attractive services to hit the communications marketplace, creating new growth opportunities, higher ARPU and greater customer loyalty. Soon consumers will expect live TV and interactive participation to be an integral part of their mobile operatorís portfolio. Mobile TV has definitely arrived, and network operators should prepare now in order to capitalize on its commercial potential. Success will come from partner relationships that leverage each playerís strengths while creating revenue opportunities for all. It will come from new open standards that allow maximum long-term innovation and choices while keeping costs down. Finally, it will come from solution providers with the modular platforms, proven experience and industry contacts to deliver a winning mobile TV service.

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