March 28, 2006, 10:07 AM —
This week's highlighted research:
Pyramid Research. "Rescuing 3G with Mobile TV."
Northern Sky Research. "Mobile TV 2006. Enabling rich video on the go."
Forrester Research. "3GSM 2006: Mobile broadcast TV isn't ready for prime time."
When I got my first cellular telephone, I thought the idea of being able to talk to people while I was away from home was pretty cool. When I was living in Silicon Valley, it became a permanent attachment and an essential part of doing business. I still have one. It's an older model Nokia, and it has an address book and came with about a half dozen different ring tones, none of which are Top 40 hit songs. I don't use it to take photographs, send text messages or surf the Web. My use of it pretty much is limited to talking to people while I'm away from home.
Today, purveyors of mobile technology are telling me that cell phones will also be able to receive broadcast television. Not only will I be able to take photographs and surf the Web, I'll also be able to use it to watch "Gilligan's Island" reruns. Will this lead to cities full of people walking through town, zombie-like, staring into their cellular phones? Will you be able to talk on your cell phone and watch TV on it at the same time? Will someone invent a device that hangs the cell phone in front of your face so you can watch it hands-free while you're driving your car? I for one, leave my home to do things other than watch television. To be honest, I don't like the idea, but I have to admit it has commercial potential.
Pyramid Research says in its report that there is a narrow window of opportunity for mobile network operators (MNOs) to get into the mobile TV market. The MNOs will have to stake their claim on the market before other players, to avoid losing out like they lost out on the mobile music business when the iPod took it over at the expense of mobile phones.