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Mobile Video Competition possible threat to operators
Posted: 05-Sep-2007 [Source: In-Stat]

[In-Stat has released a report looking at the financial downside to operators deploying 3G mobile video services.]

In-Stat -- Just like the late 1990s when 3G was deployed, billions are being spent to deploy systems capable of delivering video to mobile devices. However, In-Stat reports that "mobile" doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as "cellular." New technologies and business models are now under development that may threaten mobile operators' ability to profit from video content, the high-tech market research firm says.

"Cellular operators may find that consumers won't be as interested in their video offerings once other types of service are available," says David Chamberlain, In-Stat analyst. "Of the five methods of mobile video delivery studied in a recent In-Stat report, two operate outside the current cell phone ecosystem, and a third--out-of-band video--seems to be allied to mobile operators for commercial convenience, not technological necessity." All three, Chamberlain says, could bypass mobile operators altogether.

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

* Free-to-air mobile video, being considered by broadcasters, could disrupt other video services associated with cellular operators.

* Tech-savvy users' interest in time- and place-shifting services from Orb and Sling Media threaten to bypass operators' walled gardens.

* Even though video that can be delivered entirely from within the operators' walled gardens was first to market, it suffers from general user apathy, according to an In-Stat survey of US mobile users.

The research, "Wireless Operators May Lose Control of Mobile Video" (#IN0703669MCM), covers the market for mobile video. It includes an overview of the types of mobile video and the competing groups that are trying to promote their own standards. It also looks carefully at the attitudes of US consumers about the four most prevalent mobile video delivery scenarios, based on an In-Stat survey.

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