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Nokia makes the case for mobile TV

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Nokia says that data from one of the world's first commercial mobile TV pilots in Helsinki, Finland shows that 41 per cent of pilot participants would be willing to purchase mobile TV services, and that a monthly fee of €10 ($12) is a reasonable price to pay.

Over half (58 per cent) said that they believed broadcast mobile TV services would be popular. The trial was carried out with Digita, Elisa, MTV, Channel Four Finland (Nelonen), Nokia, TeliaSonera Finland and YLE jointly between March and June 2005 with 500 users accessing mobile TV using the Nokia 7710 smartphone using DVB-H.

Most surveys on mobile TV are with phone users that have never seen live services. They have so far concluded that the idea is a lame duck. This is the first genuine European evidence that the desire is there for consumers to buy into the idea.

Pilot participants not only wanted to watch familiar program offerings, but they would also welcome mobile TV content that is suitable for short and occasional viewing. Familiar programs, available through national Finnish television channels proved to be the most popular, followed by sports and news channels.

The Ice Hockey World cup games, the San Marino and Monaco Formula One motor racing, as well as the UEFA Champions League soccer match between Liverpool and AC Milan, were among the top 10 programs viewed during the pilot.

In general, mobile TV users spent 20 minutes a day watching mobile TV, although more active users watched between 30 to 40 minutes per session. Participants also watched mobile TV at different times from traditional TV peak hours and the services were most popular while traveling on public transport. Mobile TV also proved popular at home for entertainment and complementing main TV watching.

Pilot members were charged a monthly fee of €4.90 ($6) although half of those that took part thought €10 ($12) per month was a reasonable price to pay. Overall, users preferred fixed pricing.

Key requirements from the survey were that the service is easy to use, is reliable, that content is suitable for short period viewing and that the phone functions are not compromised by the TV application.

Copyright © 2005, Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of the week's events in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here.

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