Report: Future appears bright for Mobile TV


COLOGNE, Germany -- Mobile TV could prove a lucrative new market in Germany, with mobile TV viewers topping 8.7 million in the territory by 2012, according to a new study by media analysts Goldmedia.

Mobile television -- TV broadcast directly to mobile phones -- is still in the test stages in Germany but local telecoms, mobile carriers and traditional broadcasters are scrambling to submit proposals for nationwide DVB-H licenses.

According to Goldmedia, there is huge potential in the new mobile market.

"Before mobile text messaging was launched, no one would have thought that it would become a mass-market product," said Goldmedia analyst Michael Schmid, one of the authors of the new study.

Schmid believes that mobile TV could prove a similar success story provided the new services "(have) clear marketing strategy, a well-defined target audience and offer significantly more than 10 distinct programs or channels."

The Goldmedia study, backed by NBC Universal Global Networks, based its findings on field studies and official Digital Video Broadcast Handheld trials in such German urban centers as Berlin.

Germany, along with France and Spain, all expect to roll out nationwide mobile TV services based on the DVB-H standard by the end of the year.

Italy became the first country to roll out full-fledged DVB-H when Telecom Italia Mobile, Mediaset and Vodafone launched services last year. The U.K. is expected to launch a nationwide DVB-H service in 2008.

A recent study by U.K. consulting group Understanding & Solutions estimates that by 2010, the total revenue generated by mobile TV and mobile VOD services could reach $18 billion worldwide.