Global survey predicts strong future for mobile TV

MUMBAI: A new report European mobile phone users in early 2006, ‘New Mobile Services - Europe 2006’, from Portio Research, gives a resounding ‘thumbs up’ for mobile TV. Significantly over 50 per cent of those interviewed were interested in mobile TV and were prepared to pay for it, at an average price of €10 Euro per month.

The key findings:

• As many as 50 per cent of mobile users are interested in mobile TV and are prepared to pay on average €10 for ‘all you can eat TV’ - the potential market is huge even when based on conservative uptake.

• Video calling is in its infancy with only 6 per cent of the survey sample having used it already, however over 60% of those interviewed expressed both an interest in using the service and a willingness to pay for it.

• Mobile advertising is a big turn off for most with over 65 per cent of survey respondents expressing a zero tolerance attitude to what many consider to be spam, or advertising that you have pay for when ‘snacking' on TV.

It is clear that mobile TV will create a market for more TV viewing in addition to that at home, delivering the notion of ‘TV snacking’ whilst on the move. News and weather for professionals commuting to work, celebrity gossip and game show updates for the young professional and music videos for teenage fans. Sports aficionados also appear to be keen to grab the latest action whenever they can. All the evidence suggests that even at conservative estimates the market potential is huge, states an official release.

Video calling whilst still in its infancy obviously holds an attraction for many users particularly the teen market 85 per cent of whom expressed a desire to use video calling in the future. Interestingly pre-paid subscribers were willing to pay more than post paid subscribers per call. Once again the research indicates a very attractive market with the potential for perhaps as many as 400 million Europeans using the service.

One of the most interesting findings of the survey is consumer attitudes to mobile advertising, with over 65 per cent of those questioned expressing zero tolerance to what many consider to be an unwelcome intrusion into their mobile world. As well as being likened to e-mail spam, advertising was considered particularly unacceptable if it intruded on paid for time watching mobile TV, the release adds.

The survey undertaken by Portio provides many different insights into mobile user attitudes and trends across all major European markets. Italy and Spain for example turn out to be the mobile content hotspots whilst users in Denmark, France and Russia prefer to use content and services pre-installed on their phones. Men continue to prefer buying online while women prefer to go shopping for real. There is plenty of good news in this report for mobile network operators.

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