Virgin Mobile, the only customer for BT Movio, will go dark at the start of next year. So will BT's Movio service, which provided the transport for Virgin and it was hoped, other mobile TV services.
Tier one carriers are going to have to get used to such failures, as that is the price of experimenting with new services for which demand is unproven. Fixed-Mobile Convergence services have not fared any better in western Europe of late.
That hasn't stopped researchers from predicting a robust market for mobile TV services.
Informa Telecoms and Media predicts that there will be 124.8 million broadcast mobile TV users worldwide by 2010, with an inflection point expected in 2009 as network rollout and device availability allow for the market to reach some level of critical mass.
for the next few years, the most advanced networks will be S-DMB and T-DMB services, dominating broadcast TV handset sales worldwide from its strongholds of South Korea and Japan.
By 2010, there will be 18.11 million terrestrial DMB subscribers, compared with 15.02 million satellite DMB users worldwide.
"Despite its slow start, DVB-H will become the dominant format in 2008, reaching significant levels worldwide reaching 74.03 million users by 2010, equating to almost 60 percent of all broadcast mobile TV users", says David McQueen, Informa analyst.
It didn't help that the European Commission has backed a rival transmission standard for mobile broadcasting. The EU chose Digital Video Broadcasting — Handheld (DVB-H) as the standard it wants used. BT Movio was based on the rival Digital Audio Broadcasting — IP (DAB-IP) standard, which reused digital radio spectrum to deliver a handful of TV channels and a range of digital radio stations.
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