Mobile phone users could be signing up for digital TV services on their handsets from 2006 - services that could generate $30bn annually in the US alone, according to a forecast from consultancy AT Kearney.
"Mobile TV is the most important application beyond voice and messaging in phones," according to Andrew Cole, vice president of the consultancy. Such services would require handsets with a separate TV antenna and dedicated mobile TV transmissions, formatted for mobile phones in a standard called Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld (DVB-H), which could use the space soon to be vacated by analogue TV.
Cole says US consumers alone will spend $30bn each year on mobile TV, money that will be shared between telecoms operators, equipment makers and broadcasters.
"The light goes on when you see it. It is very watchable," Cole told Reuters after live TV demonstrations on phones in South Korea.
A survey in Germany conducted by Nokia and Vodafone found that 80% of people wanted TV on their mobiles and were willing to pay €12 a month for it.
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