May 13, 2008

Is Mobile TV Really Necessary?

Mobile TV is all the rage these days. As telecoms try to increase their profit margins using add-on packages such as unlimited email, IM, text, internet, VOIP, and etc. Mobile TV is going to be an interesting addition to a carrier’s bottom line.

But as a consumer, do I really need a packaged “mobile TV “ solution? I mean, having live television programming available to me is of great value, but I am not interested in paying more to get that content which can be made available through existing medium. Considering that I am already paying for a monthly unlimited data plan which I’d argue that I hardly get my money’s worth out of it simply because the lack of efforts from the mobile community to make content accessible. And now, AT&T and Verizon(VCast) are committed to the new MediaFlo technology to broadcast high quality television feeds for another cost.

I am tired of buying into these one-off technologies (DVB-H, MediaFlow and T-DMB). I am interested in leverging existing infrastructure and make contents available using an open-source standard. I am interested in browsers such as Skyfire which is full internet capable giving me access to websites like so I can stream TV shows live with an ad supported model. I am interested in running YouTube app (ie. via iPhone or other YouTube Applications) to stream content over my existing 3G data network. Finally, I am interested in developing more functional mobile applications like fring for VOIP and GMAPS that maximizes the technology we have today!

Please don’t get me wrong, I am not against investing in new mobile technologies. I think these new mobile TV solutions are significant to the mobile development. I just wish telecoms and manufacturers would invest more time in perfecting the user experience based on what is available today instead of rushing on to something new and unproven just to charge me more money. Case in point, take a look at the following 3G network maps and see the regions without data coverage. Why not work on a technology to extend coverage area, boost our 3G speed and make sure all of your customers are upgraded to 3G handsets which allows for accessibility. Once the foundations are covered, then, lets talk about a new commitment in technology, hence making more money.

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