The Next Best Thing

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

Is India still awaits the launch of 3G, cellular service providers are going

a step ahead in offering NGN applications. Real-time options such as video and

music streaming, and movies and gaming on mobile are all in the pipeline.


However, the most interesting may be mobile TV-be it through a 3G platform or

broadcasting; and the entire telecom industry-be it a service provider, a

vendor, or software solutions provider-is unanimous in its interest to develop

this emerging trend in India.

There are basically two ways of delivering television content to mobile

devices-mobile telecommunications networks through 3G, or by using broadcasting

platforms such as Qualcomm's Media-Flo and Nokia's DVBH technologies. However,

Doordarshan is currently the only channel to have commercially launched the

service on the DVBH platform. Broadcasting platform has an advantage when it

comes to mobile TV services because the spectrum is dedicated only for

transmitting TV channels-a good alternative to 3G, which has to be shared among

voice, data, and other applications.

Thus, perceiving a huge market and catering to all segments-from youth to

professionals to the elderly-who can watch programs as per their choice and in

real-time, mobile TV viewing is set to be the next big technology trend in

India. Already popular in international markets, keeping it affordable is the

key to its success.


Putting into Practice

While Idea Cellular recently announced that it planned to launch live IPL

matches on mobile, whereby subscribers can watch the game from thirty-six

different camera angles; MTNL, BSNL and Reliance have also recently launched

these services.

Cricket, news, and entertainment-the three major segments that are viewed by

Indians today-are indeed the segments to capitalize on. The subscriber base is

continuously growing, seeing an upsurge of almost 300% during special events.


While there is already a burgeoning demand from the urban market, once 3G is

rolled out fully, the mobile TV market in India will touch $200 mn, as 2G is

fully operational, and rural subscribers will soon be added to the list.

Apalya, a solutions provider that offers TV-on-the-go, with its brand 'Mimobi

TV' plans to showcase the coming IPL season, while Mobile ESPN is already a

regular feature for its premium content users, offering them an interactive


Designed to deliver mobile TV performance across 2.5 and 3G handsets, Apalya

has also tied up with all leading TV channels like Zoom, NDTV Networks, Zee

Networks, Color, Times Now and Aaj Tak, as well as with leading telecom

providers like Idea Cellular, Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, and Tata. Apalya also

provided its users with full coverage of the state elections recently.


With the government announcing to hold a bidding process for issuing licenses

for mobile TV services, operators have the advantage of deciding on the

technology to be deployed for offering the service, and will also be permitted

to have FDI of up to 74%. Licenses for these services are to be given

state-wise, and each player will get 8Mhz spectrum in 585Mhz and 806Mhz

frequency bands.

Subscribers looking for international content in terms of news and

entertainment channels, like ABC, Fox, MTV, NBC, TLC, CBS, CNBC, and CNN will

also be catered to as FLO TV and Mophie are expected to launch live TV viewing

on iPhones and iPod Touch in the first half of this year. Mophie also provides a

'juice pack' along with this service, which helps consume less power, therefore,

serving as an energy-saving offering as well.

Beryl M