Divergent mobile TV standards becoming the norm


Over the last few months, various market developments have spawned a new dynamic in the broadcast mobile TV marketplace. With the European Commission favoring DVB-H as the Pan-European broadcast mobile TV standard, AT&T abandoning Modeo and DVB-H in favor of MediaFLO, and Crown Castle’s subsequent divestiture of Modeo’s spectrum, the lines defining a strong regional base for various standards are becoming clear.

IMS Research is forecasting that by 2011 the Americas region will account for 60% of worldwide FLO subscribers. Similarly, Europe is forecast to claim 61% of worldwide DVB-H / DVB-SH subscribers. Other standards, such as T-DMB and ISDB-T, are also expected to become increasingly region-specific between 2007 and 2011, with an increasing number of these standards’ subscribers coming respectively from Korea and Japan.

Said Anna Hunt, Research Director at IMS Research: "Operator and government decisions about which mobile TV standard to deploy in each country or region depend on a number of variables including spectrum availability, existing cellular and DTT infrastructure, market needs, and national political and economic interests.  This has resulted in a situation where in certain regions, different standards gained a distinct advantage in building the consensus required to deploy a broadcast network, thereby gaining the first-mover advantage so key in a standards war."