Mobile TV going nowhere fast: researchers

If you have never watched streaming TV from your cell phone you aren’t alone. Despite bit pushes from companies like MobiTV, only 5% of mobile users are expected to ever use their services by 2013.

Mobile TV has kind of become an unfortunate secondary victim of the growing market of home-based TV streaming. With Hulu, Netflix, and similar services dominating user focus, it’s no wonder that viewers in the US aren’t even paying attention to similar offerings on their mobile phones.

Mobile TV was expected to become a huge market. TV content providers and phone manufacturers have poured in a lot of money over the past three years to provide an entire network of technologies. It seems hardly anyone is using them, though.

Semiconductor company Qualcomm recently announced it wants to sell off its mobile TV subsidiary MediaFlo. “MediaFLO has been hamstrung by various factors, many of which have been outside its control. The delay in analogue switch off prevented it from gaining national coverage; its partners set the service price at too high a level which put off potential customers,” said Dr. Windsor Holden, a researcher and lead author of the Juniper Research report Mobile TV: Applications, Services & Opporunities 2010-2015.

Indeed, actually having a mobile TV infrastructure will probably never come to fruition especially as Netflix and Hulu provide much more appealing Internet-based services.