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Even Koreans turn off mobile TV

Nobody's watching

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Despite billions invested in turning mobile phones into pocket TV sets, the public continues to find it all a giant yawn. A study by TMC Media published earlier this month suggests that peak-time viewing of direct broadcast TV on phones in Korea barely exceeds the pollsters' margin of error.

TMC found that only 1.17 per cent of the mobile TV-equipped audience was watching - peaking at 3.58 per cent during the commute rush hour. Around 48 per cent of receivers are built into mobile phones.

Which begs the question - if the Koreans don't want mobile TV, then who does? Despite the cultural differences, Korea has long been viewed by the mobile industry as a fruitful laboratory. It's like discovering the British office workforce heading en masse to monasteries on Fridays at 5pm.

Yet this anecdote has bearing back home. Uber-regulator OFCOM's auction of valuable "L-Band" Spectrum saw Qualcomm grab the lot for only £8m. The mobile industry sounds a bullish note on mobile TV, despite evidence to the contrary.

So Qualcomm parcels out the spectrum itself, and TV services launch and then flop. Couldn't they just have given us our spectrum back to start with? ®

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