The 3G iPhone is coming. And with it comes a much bigger audience for mobile TV. At least that’s what a bunch of egghead analysts reckons…
The latest report from the advisers on telecoms, IT and digital media found that many operators are offering mobile TV services using 3G streaming, but these are constrained by lack of coverage, relatively poor quality of service and 3G capacity limitations (as 3G networks may only support relatively low numbers of mobile TV users).
"The iPhone could become the mobile video delivery device of choice for many consumers,” said Mark Heath, co-author of the report iPhone Shows The Way for Mobile TV.
Heath said the market could be spurred on by having such a compelling mobile TV and video-capable device before mobile broadcasting networks, such as DVB-H, become widely available.
Market research shows that many iPhone owners have accessed TV and video content with greater frequency than subscribers using other types of mobile handsets.
Heath said that adding 3G capability to the iPhone will bring a number of highly attractive attributes to the mobile TV market, including:
* Video-friendly specifications, including high-quality widescreen display, substantial internal memory and low battery consumption.
* Access to a rapidly increasing range of TV and video content provided by Apple or specifically optimised for the iPhone. By May 2008, the iTunes Store had a catalogue of 600 TV programmes and over 1,500 films and, by April 2008, Apple iTunes had sold 125 million TV programmes.
* The ability to support multiple methods of delivering TV and video content, including sideloading, indoor WLAN and high-speed 3G cellular data access. Sideloading and indoor WLAN minimises the amount of TV and video traffic that needs to be carried on 3G networks, allowing 3G operators to support high rates of mobile TV penetration.
CEO Steve Jobs will address the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco on Monday and is expected to talk about the 3G iPhone.