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Four Standards for Mobile TV Broadcasting

According to In-Stat, many mobile carriers are offering video-streaming services via mobile handsets. However, they recognize that using the cellular network to deliver popular content that millions want to watch at the same time requires much greater bandwidth than is currently available. They are turning to mobile TV broadcast networks, which have a much lower cost per bit for video delivery, to deliver linear TV programming to mobile subscribers.

Mobile TV broadcast operators have been conducting tests around the world with each standard being used. Now the trial phase is over in some countries as operators launch mobile TV broadcast services. One challenge keeping more operators from launching is the acquisition of the spectrum when none is readily available.

There are four standards being used for mobile TV broadcasting: DVB-H, DMB, ISDB-T, and MediaFLO. ISDB-T is currently only used in Japan and services are on the air. DMB-based services are on the air now in Asia and will be launched in Europe later in 2006. DVB-H based services are launching this month in Europe, and later in 2006, in North America. Also in late 2006, MediaFLO-based services will be launched in North America.

With expected deployments in 2006, mobile TV broadcasting subscribers will grow from 397,000 at the end of 2005 to 3.4 million in 2006. By the end of 2010, In-Stat expects mobile TV broadcast subscribers to reach 102 million. Free-To-Air (FTA) mobile TV broadcasts will add millions more viewers.

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