Mobile TV not all it's cracked up to be

Survey finds that issues with price, reliability and quality may dampen demand for mobile TV

Don't expect much from mobile TV.

Issues with price, reliability and quality may dampen demand for mobile TV in the United States, just as the service is about to hatch here. That's the conclusion of a survey of 22,000 European mobile service users commissioned by Tellabs.

Tellabs sells equipment to provide backhaul services for mobile TV networks.

The survey, conducted by M:Metrics in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France and Spain, found that former users of mobile TV and video now outnumber current users by more than 19%. The research cited price, reliability and quality issues as the main reasons why users do not come back for more.

Forty-five percent of European mobile video and TV users cited pricing issues as a factor causing them to switch off the services. And nearly a quarter -- 24% -- of users who had tried mobile video and TV stopped using it because of concerns about service quality and reliability.

In the United Kingdom, only 6% of those who had never used mobile TV and video cited quality and reliability as reasons not to try such services, but 29% of users had stopped using services because of quality and reliability.

In the United States, Verizon Wireless last month announced plans to turn up a mobile TV service this quarter. And mobile TV is all the rage at this week's 3GSM conference in Barcelona.

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Jim Duffy

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