World Cup to boost mobile TV services

The soccer World Cup in Germany will provide the catalyst for TV services on mobile phones to start taking off, but real growth will occur over the next five years, an industry study, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

The Reuters report quoted Informa Telecoms & Media as saying that there would be some 210 million mobile TV subscribers worldwide by 2011, with the Asia-Pacific region leading the way with 95.1 million subscribers, followed by Europe at 68.7 million.

Analysts at Informa forecast a "hockey stick" curve in the demand for mobile TV, with initial take-up likely to be steady before climbing rapidly, the Reuters report said.

"(By) the 2008 Olympics, we'll all be much more prepared to watch TV on our phones, and by the 2010 World Cup, the infrastructure will be mature and one in 13 mobile phone users worldwide will own a mobile TV handset," David McQueen, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, was quoted as saying.

Live TV broadcasts to mobile phones are only now taking off in Europe, notably in Germany and Italy, helped by the soccer World Cup during which operators such as 3 Italia and Debitel were expected to broadcast matches to mobile phones, the report further said.