Each of the pilots involved Nokia and a broad spectrum of companies, including broadcasters, mobile operators and broadcast network providers, revealing the widespread interest in making mobile TV a reality. Each pilot also involved broadcasts of live digital TV content over DVB-H networks to the Nokia 7710 smartphone.
Consumer demand for mobile TV
< Interim results from the pilot in Oxford, UK, revealed that 83% of participants were satisfied with the service and over three quarters (76%) said they would take up the service within 12 months. In France, 68% said they would pay for mobile TV services while over half (55%) in Spain were willing to do so. Nearly 75% of Spanish participants would recommend the service to friends and family.
The potential commercial benefits of mobile TV for the industry are made clear by these pilots with such a high proportion willing to pay for the service. The most popular pricing model to emerge is a monthly subscription for a package of channels. In the Helsinki pilot, half of those that took part thought €10 per month was a reasonable price to pay, while in France, 68% were willing to pay €7 per month for mobile TV services.
New prime times for broadcasters and advertisers also emerge from the pilots. The UK results reveal a lunchtime viewing peak higher than the normal TV pattern, suggesting that viewers are enjoying their favorite TV content while on their lunch break. In France, participants watched mobile TV for 20 minutes on average per day with early morning, lunchtime and mid evening representing the periods of highest use. The Spanish pilot also reveals mobile TV viewing spread throughout the day with early evening representing peak viewing.
An interesting aspect of all the pilots was that many users watched mobile TV within their homes. Almost half of those taking part in the French and Spanish pilots claimed to mainly watch mobile TV at home. For almost a third of participants in the UK pilot, this represented their first taste of multi-channel TV.
The overwhelming message from these pilots is that consumers want both a wide range of channels but also content that is suitable for watching on mobile devices. The most popular types of content were news, sports, music, soaps and documentaries. Interactivity was also an important functionality with over half of Spanish users (58%) saying they wanted specific, interactive content adapted to shorter viewing times. In the Finnish pilot, the San Marino and Monaco Grand Prix as well as the UEFA Champions League match between Liverpool and AC Milan were among the top 10 programs viewed.
DVB-H technology allows TV channels to be distributed effectively to mobile devices. It provides the best user experience in the mobile environment with excellent, broadcast quality picture, reduced battery consumption and wide range of channels (up to 50 channel are possible). Nokia will bring the Nokia N92 device together with Nokia's Mobile Broadcast Solution 3.0 network elements to the market in summer 2006 to provide the most complete implementation of existing broadcast mobile TV standards on the market. According to Informa, there will be 50.97 million DVB-H devices sold globally by 2010.