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Mobile TV will take off in two years, forecasts management consultancy

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Mott  MacDonald Schema, a UK based independent management consultancy  advising the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industries,  has found 95% of British mobile phone users have not accessed mobile TV  and less than 1% use it more than once a month. The findings are from the  consultancy's commissioned research by Ipsos MORI.  

Mott  MacDonald Schema believes that the low take up and limited use of mobile  TV can be turned around, estimating that mobile TV could be popular in two  years. However, the mobile industry will need to overcome issues such as  providing consumers with engaging content, suitable handsets, affordable  packages, the scarcity of spectrum and uncertainty around the competing  delivery technologies such as DVB-H, T-DMB, Media Flo, 3G MBMS/TDD and  DVB-SH.  The  research, among a nationally representative sample of 990 British  adults aged 15+, found that:  

- Nearly  two thirds of mobile phone users who have never tried to access mobile  TV say it's because they have no interest  
- 2% of  mobile phone users  have  accessed mobile TV once, and 3% use it once a month or  less  
- Of those  mobile phone users who have tried to access mobile TV, 19% find it too  expensive and 13% say the screen is too small  
- Sports  and news, followed by music videos and soaps are the highest rated types  of content which would make consumers watch mobile TV  
- The  propensity to watch mobile TV is highest amongst those aged from 15 to  24 years old - 15% of mobile phone users in this age group have accessed  mobile TV at least once, whereas the corresponding figure for all mobile  phone users is just 5%.

Annoula  Peppas, senior media consultant, is positive about mobile TV. "If the  major broadcasters and mobile operators actively market appealing,  affordable content packages around known brands,  they can drive the take up of mobile TV. The key will be a mix of familiar  linear TV programmes plus on demand and innovative, made for mobile  content.

"The  most popular genres from early mobile TV launches abroad are sports; cult  shows/soaps; popular music; and user generated, echoed  by our consumer research.   Annoula  continues, "Pricing needs to be bundled with existing spend on media and  communications and include a mix of subscription, free and pay per view  options. Mobile devices should have large screens and simple navigation to  make them more suitable for mobile TV.  

"So  far mobile operators and broadcasters have just been testing the water  offering limited content with little or no marketing push. This combined  with significant handset constraints, for the majority of users, often  results in an unsatisfying user experience.  

"Leading  industry players from broadcasting, mobile communications and handset  manufacturing need to collaborate and actively push mobile TV as part of a  complete, converged media offering. Working together, they should quickly  resolve issues linked to technology, spectrum availability, content  rights, handsets, advertising and payment models.

"In  a couple of years we could see the real take off of mobile TV and  significant revenue streams."