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Right and Wrong Way to Launch Mobile TV Service

The costly failure of Qualcomm's FLO TV venture in North America will likely be used by business school professors as case study material -- to demonstrate how misguided product and market development strategy can lead to lost opportunity. But it's just one of the lessons-learned about mobile TV service launches.

Free-to-Air broadcast analog mobile video is booming in Latin America and China, and digital mobile TV services are ramping up throughout Asia, as well as Latin America.

In the U.S. market, new ATSC mobile DTV services are launching and will drive solid growth in a few short years. As a result, In-Stat forecasts that the worldwide market value of mobile TV tuners to exceed $400 million by 2014.

"The biggest problem for mobile TV services is that they are developing on a country-by-country basis," says Gerry Kaufhold, Principal Analyst at In-Stat.

"The fragmentation of standards in different regions with different adoption rates, poses a challenge for technology manufacturers developing unique decoder technologies for each segment. However, the growing revenue opportunity is still appealing."

In-Stat's latest market study research findings include:

- The CAGR for worldwide value of all mobile TV tuners will be over 12 percent from 2009 through 2014, and units will grow at nearly double that rate.

- Unit shipments for digital mobile TV tuners are expected to triple from 2009 to 2014.

- Devices that may incorporate a mobile TV tuner include mobile phones, laptops and notebooks, portable media players, PDAs & smartphones, portable navigation devices (GPS), portable game consoles, and automotive TVs.

- Some highly integrated tuner/demodulator SoCs include channel filtering, digital carrier and timing recovery, channel selectivity, gain control, and LO (local oscillator) generation, which eliminates the need for an external low-noise amplifier.

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