Progress on Point
Release 15.11 July 2008 Periodic Commentaries on the Policy Debate
A Primer On the US Mobile Television Market
by Joseph S. Kraemer, Ph. D.
The title of this paper identifies it as a primer, that is, a document that sets forththe basic state and potential for mobile television as of mid-2008.
The objective is toeducate the reader as to the environment and the opportunity for mobile video. Forthose not familiar with the jargon of mobile television, at the rear this paper contains aglossary of terms and acronyms.Mobile television involves the transmission of video content to, and reception by,mobile/ handheld devices such as TV-capable cellular phones, vehicle-mounted TVsystems, laptop computers, and/or handheld video players. The content may betraditional TV programming, traditional programming re-formatted for small screens,and/or new formats such as user-generated content.
Most importantly, mobile digital television is a logical extension of the digitally-driven development of television from passive entertainment to an interactive, highvalue, versatile medium (see Exhibit 1).
Each stage builds upon the set of earlierstages. “Personal television” adds functionality and value to “web TV” which did thesame to “digital television” which, in turn, did the same to “analog broadcast television.”The development process is additive and cumulative. Although critically important,mobile television is just one aspect of the evolving “personal television” stage.The market for mobile video is forecasted to explode over the next four or fiveyears. The primary factors that are contributing to this are:
Joseph S. Kraemer, Ph.D. is an Adjunct Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation and a Directorat Law and Economics Consulting Group. He has worked with, and served as counselor to, seniormanagement at communications, media, and high-tech companies in Asia, Europe, and the Americasand is the author of numerous publications on communications issues. The views expressed in thisreport are his own, and are not necessarily the views of the PFF board, fellows or staff.
This paper expands upon certain aspects of another paper: “Study of the Impact of Multiple Systems forMobile/Handheld Digital Television,” that was co-authored with Dr. Richard Ducey and Dr. Mark Fratrik.
Mobile television differs from ordinary over-the-air television. The current digital standard for U.S. over-the-air broadcasts was engineered to deliver a digital signal to fixed locations. A proposed mobilestandard will be designed for broadcasters to transmit to mobile devices moving up to vehicular speed.
“Television” in this context refers to video carried over all local distribution platforms (e.g., over-the-air,cable, microwave, telco, and satellite).
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