Europe has huge potential for mobile satellite TV

Satellite technology is expected to play a significant role in driving mobile TV services adoption in Europe, a new report by Forst & Sullivan says.


The report said while the European mobile TV market is on the verge of significant growth, efficient transmission and distribution of mobile TV services remains the major hurdles to widespread adoption.


However, the use of satellite technologies for mobile TV services could be an effective and economical way of solving these issues and could help boost revenues from €1.245 million (US$1.92 million) in 2007 to nearly €2,123.7 million (US$3,274 million) in 2014.

"As mobile TV services continue to grow across Europe, customers and operators require a reliable and pervasive service coverage, which can transmit high-quality, dedicated programmes," noted Frost & Sullivan research analyst Natalie Bentz.

"The distribution and transmission by satellite, through the hybrid network or backhaul, will both greatly contribute to the success of mobile TV by providing what the industry and the customers ask for."

The hybrid network solution for mobile TV offers great potential in terms of distribution, answering the operators' and customers' needs for reception in urban and rural areas, as well as indoor and outdoor settings. Furthermore, the utilization of the S-band, which will be allocated European Union wide, will reduce spectrum difficulties that could be experienced when using other frequencies.

Using satellite backhaul for the distribution of mobile TV has fundamental advantages, as backhaul is a known solution for data and video applications, Bentz said.

Another advantage of satellite backhaul for mobile TV is that in contrast to the direct/hybrid satellite solution in the S-band, this model is not affected by the standardization problem.

Further, as this solution does not involve a direct link from the satellite to the end user, no specific devices or chipsets are needed.

However, both hybrid network and satellite backhaul solutions face some problems in the market, including competing alternatives through terrestrial networks.

"By the time of the scheduled availability of the satellite segment for the hybrid solution, terrestrial alternatives will already have established themselves in some markets," says Bentz. "The solution of satellite backhaul faces problems related to the bandwidth hungriness of mobile TV applications."

Overall, the example of the mobile TV market in Italy shows that there is still significant room for improvement and that the hybrid network solution can bring just that, as customers require a high level and spread of service coverage and quality.