Anyone remember Virgin Lobster? Anyone?? It was one of the ill-fated attempts at launching mobile TV in the UK. It used DAB frequencies to transmit and was proper rubbish. But could the time be ripe for another stab at mobile TV in the UK?
In Korea, mobile TV is absolutely massive – most of the handsets and services are geared towards streamed TV content on the go (like this LG Vu, pictured). But then, 98 per cent of mobile users in Korea are on the incredibly efficient 3G networks, with almost as high numbers in Japan.
MediaFLO, a broadcast mobile TV platform launched in the US, uses a high-quality, low-consumption protocol to deliver real-time streams to mobile handsets and is steadily growing in popularity Stateside – so will the UK follow suit?
Qualcomm, the people behind MediaFLO, shelled out for the L-Band radio spectrum in the UK this year – that’s 40 MHz of potential broadcasting power. At present, Qualcomm will only admit that this is for R&D purposes, although we're attending their European Innovation Showcase on 3 December, so watch this space.
The UK has been famously reticent on more than one occasion to mobile TV – but does the growth of 3G, plus greatly improved delivery methods mean that we might all be soon be watching Home and Away away from home?
What’s more, if mobile TV did ever catch on, the rise of the GPS-enabled handset means that location-specific TV advertising could be a marketing man’s dream: “Hey Dave – feeling hungry? There’s a delicious Whopper waiting for you just a street away…”
Or do services such as iPlayer and live web streaming render dedicated mobile TV services obsolete? Would you buy into mobile TV? Let us know below…