Industry adviser Analysys Mason is rocking the traditional wisdom boat with its latest report, Critical Ingredients of Mobile TV. Although many operators are planning to use a combination of 3G and dedicated mobile broadcasting networks to deliver mobile TV and video services, Analysy Mason says they could easily employ some emerging alternatives, such as indoor wireless systems such as femtocells and WLAN, to their advantage. The advisory group also encouraged operators not to overlook sideloading, where content is transferred from a PC or other device to the mobile phone’s memory.
As evidence, Dr. Alastair Brydon, Analysys Mason associate and co-author of the report, pointed out that iPhone users already watch a range of TV content without the need for 3G or mobile broadcasting capability.
Specific findings of the report include:
- DVB-H trials have shown significant indoor usage of mobile TV services, with 36%-50% of participants using these services mainly at home. Indoor systems such as femtocells could carry this traffic, potentially with better quality than they could get with outdoor 3G and broadcasting networks.
- Sideloading can be a highly effective way of delivering content that is not time-critical, such as pre-recorded TV programs and movies. Compared to other mobile TV distribution methods, sideloading can provide high quality and reliability in any location. For example, video content available on iTunes for Apple iPhones is encoded at a data rate of more than 1 Mbps, compared with 128 kbps for some 3G services.
- Operators that are unable to deploy broadcasting networks could potentially deliver a compelling proposition without filling up the capacity of their 3G networks. If 75% of mobile TV content was delivered using sideloading and 60% of streamed content was consumed indoors, then 3G networks would need to carry just 10% of total mobile TV traffic.