Viewers still want analog mobile TV

Sunnyvale, CA – Despite moves towards digital television, the use of free-to-air analog mobile TV is set to increase by a massive six times in the next four years, according to a report.

Market research and consultancy firm In-Stat predicts a worldwide user base of 300 million users by 2013 in its white paper, carried out for Telegent Systems.

“Analog mobile TV has two very fundamental and compelling advantages – cost and availability,” said Frank Dickson, vice president of research at In-Stat. “The infrastructure is already in place, there are no new standards that need to be enacted and the service is free to consumers – a very powerful combination.”

Most people watch while travelling, at home or during breaks at work. In Indonesia, where traffic is famously bad, the majority watch while in transit. In some regions, more than 40 percent of users watch daily.

It’s most popular in developing markets, with mobile TV typically offered as a free feature in low-cost and mid-tier handsets.

More than 85 percent of the world’s population will have access to analog signals for at least the next few years. In-Stat expects free-to-air analog mobile TV to do well in countries which don’t yet have have plans for digital TV, or where analog will still be available for more than five years.

In-Stat also points out that a lot of consumers live in areas where the average subscriber can’t afford subscription-based mobile TV or data services that support over-the-top video.