Juniper Research Expects Spectrum Scarcity to Block Mobile TV Launch in UK Until at Least 2010

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The number of mobile broadcast TV subscribers in Western Europe is expected to pass 20m by 2011, according to a new report from Juniper Research. However, following the exit of the BT/Virgin Mobile DAB-IP offering from the market, the UK is not expected to relaunch mobile broadcast TV services until 2010 at the very earliest, well behind most of its European neighbours.

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After the successful launch of DVB-H-based services in Italy, many other Western European countries have either drawn up or are drawing up licensing procedures for mobile broadcast TV services. However, the fact that optimal UHF spectrum will not be made available in the UK for several years effectively prevents any medium-term deployment of such services.

The number of mobile broadcast TV subscribers in Western Europe is expected to pass 20m by 2011, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

However, following the exit of the BT/Virgin Mobile DAB-IP offering from the market, the UK is not expected to relaunch mobile broadcast TV services until 2010 at the very earliest, well behind most of its European neighbours.

According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, "After the successful launch of DVB-H-based services in Italy, many other Western European countries have either drawn up or are drawing up licensing procedures for mobile broadcast TV services. However, the fact that optimal UHF spectrum will not be made available in the UK for several years effectively prevents any medium-term deployment of such services."

The report adds that while service providers could opt to utilise L-Band spectrum as an alternative, the additional infrastructure expenditure involved would probably mean that such a venture would not be cost-effective. It also recommends that, wherever possible, operators should seek to share broadcast network infrastructure as in Germany, where T-Mobile, O2 and Vodafone are planning to utilise a single DVB-H network.

Juniper Research assesses the current and future status of the mobile TV market based on interviews, case studies and analysis from representatives of some of the leading organisations in the growing mobile TV industry.

Other key findings from the report include:

  •     Mobile broadcast TV revenues in Western Europe will rise from just over $150m in 2007 to nearly $2.4bn in 2012
  •     The largest European market at the end of the forecast period will be Italy, followed by Germany and France.
  •     Following the European Commission's quasi-mandation of DVB-H, it is highly unlikely that any future commercial deployments of mobile broadcast TV in this region will utilise an alternative standard.

White papers and further details of the study 'Mobile TV: Streamed and Broadcast Services' can be freely downloaded from http://www.juniperresearch.com Alternatively please contact John Levett at john.levett(at)juniperresearch.com, telephone +44(0)1256 830002.

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

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