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Future Winner of Mobile TV Market is Unclear

Third generation (3G) mobile TV services may complement or compete with mobile TV broadcasting, depending on the entertainment market savvy of the mobile phone network operator, according to the latest study by In-Stat.

While mobile phone operators can rely on their own network and offer more channels via 3G mobile TV streaming services, the video quality may not be as consistent as with other forms of proven mobile TV technology, the high-tech market research firm says.

"The 3G mobile TV service is only available to those with 3G handsets and plans, so 3G mobile TV services cannot be offered to the entire subscriber base, unlike a mobile TV broadcast service," says Michelle Abraham.

So, uptake in 3G mobile TV is dependent on an increase in the number of 3G subscribers -- and there's the problem. Today, 3G penetration is far less than 50 percent for most operators, with 3G mobile TV penetration of 3G subscribers below 10 percent for many mobile operators.

Steady growth is expected, however, in both 3G penetration and 3G mobile TV subscriptions.

The In-Stat research covers the worldwide market for 3G mobile TV. It looks at the availability of 3G mobile TV in all regions of the world and what is available with those services. Five-year forecasts for 3G mobile TV subscribers, annual ARPU, and subscription revenues are provided.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- Worldwide 3G mobile TV subscribers are forecast to reach 42 million in 2012.

- 3G mobile TV subscribers grew to 6 million worldwide in 2007.

- In 2012, In-Stat expects worldwide 3G mobile TV revenues to reach $5 billion.

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