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China to have 32 million mobile video users in 2008

Posted: 02 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile video? T-DMB? DAB? cellphone? cellphones?

By 2008, there will be 32 million mobile video users in China27 percent of which will use broadcasting technology and 73 percent will employ unicast streaming technology, according to a report from ABI Research. Driving this market take-off is the interest in Beijing Olympics.

Two handset-related standardsDAB and T-DMBwere announced by the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) last year. According to ABI Research, DAB will likely be the first phase of mobile multimedia broadcasting standards development in China. It will pave way for upgrade to T-DMB, a terrestrial implementation of SK Telecom's mobile video format.

As both standards are voluntary, there are questions about their effect in the market. "It is likely that local media groups and TV stations will deploy DAB initially, and implement T-DMB at a later date," said Jake Saunders, ABI Research director. "The Chinese government will give preference to a standard that will be used in the 2008 Olympics, and DAB has been listed as one of the broadcast services that will be available at the Beijing Games."

"Although lack of content is still deemed to be a bottleneck for mobile video in mainland China, the problem will be solved in the next two years," added Saunders. "The current content shortage is caused by the limited number of handset TV SP licenses. When more companies obtain licenses, competition will become the lubricant to drive up the market."

ABI Research forecasts that by 2008, there will be about 715,000 mobile video users in Hong Kong, of which 99 percent will be streaming users. At present, Hong Kong mobile operators provide mobile video streaming of diversified content to their users. Meanwhile, in Taiwan, ABI Research forecasts that there will be over 1.5 million mobile video users in 2008, with 97 percent receiving content via streaming.

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