In a followup to my previous posts on the Mobile DTV, I’ve been in several discussions across Twitter and LinkedIn about the hype surrounding TV on mobile. As someone who’s been watching the convergence of consumer electronics, mobility, and the web for several years, you’ll probably agree with me that mobile TV’s been overhyped for quite a while. QUALCOMM made it all the rage at many US conferences, and there were numerous FLO vs. DVB-H panels around the world. Korea, delivering S-DMB and T-DMB, was the poster child for mobile TV because it caught on so fast there. But Korea, and Japan for that matter, are very different environments and cultures.

Three years ago, Europe was headed down the DVB-H route, but today, European telcos are either struggling with their DVB-H roll outs or have halted their implementation plans. Now we know that 3G services did not roll out on schedule, nor have they actually lived up to their overhyped expectations. Mobile TV has gotten mixed into the sea of next generation (3G) services that operators are pushing to increase ARPU. But mobile TV (on any standard) is having a hard time swimming up stream with the rest of the fishes that are trying to gorge themselves on 3G bandwidth (sorry for the fish analogy but we always seem to be swimming upstream in wireless, when we talk about the next generation, and what we really want to do now).

There’s a great post over at Telematics News that goes into what’s going on in Europe, that I encourage you to check out! While BSkyB in the UK has rolled it out on 3G with support for 20 channels, other European operators are unwilling to move forward, and would rather focus on their own infrastructure.  It’s popular in France because of certain bundling activities- which became the crux of my comment post over on the Telematics News site. Which was this:

“Yes, operators will have to bundle it into packages in the way that auto mfgs bundle multiple features into their options packages today- the “sport edition” will have an unlimited data plan, mobile TV, premium location aware services, high speed video conferencing, etc.- all for an extra €8 Euro/$15 per month. Selling Mobile TV, whether it be DVB-H, FLO, or Mobile DTV will not fly by itself as a single service add-on. Operators will need to bundle it in with other services, target it at their highest ARPU subscribers, and maybe, just maybe it will make it…in some, but not all countries. The other problem I have with broadcast is that the consumer landscape has shifted. We are looking at three generations who are now comfortable with time and place shifting of TV content. They want to watch “their TV” not scan a program guide or channel surf. That’s what their “parents” did, and it’s very old school!”

Randy Giusto

comment on Telematicsnews.com on 10/27/09

-Randy Giusto