Calling its New York DVB-H network trial a "beta launch," Modeo President Michael Ramke says that the 99 percent of the 138 test users were satisfied with the clarity of the service and 87 percent were satisfied with the availability of the service. Ramke provided an update on the Modeo service during a press briefing yesterday at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas.
The Modeo trial, which started in December, was supported by more than 65 transmitters and included six video channels and 8 audio channels. Content providers included CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Sports, the Discovery Channel, E! and Music Choice. HTC made the quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE Modeo smartphone and Penthera developed the user interface.
Ramke, who declined to reveal some of the trial specifics because of Modeo's relationship with content providers and other partners, said that the average minutes of use initially were high-around 23 minutes per day--but dropped off slightly once the novelty of the service wore off. Most participants viewed the mobile TV service about 15 minutes per day. In addition, 52 percent of participants said that they watched more TV because of the mobile device--which Ramke believes indicates that there is lots of opportunity for cross-promotion between traditional and mobile TV.
Now that the trial is over, Ramke says that Modeo is working on enhancing the service, which includes adding a push video-on-demand service and more interactivity. In addition, he touted the company's FCC waiver, awarded in February, that will allow Modeo to increase its transmission power. Ramke says that the power increase will provide a 10 times increase in urban coverage and a 20 times increase in rural coverage. It will also significantly reduce capex costs to build out the network by $120 million. -Sue