General and Mobile TV and SprintNextel
chris on 18 Sep 2007 02:04 pm
I was in Ann Arbor this past weekend for the Michigan game. After watching the Wolverines dismantle the Irish, we grabbed dinner downtown. As I pondered the impact of the Wolverines victory – whether they are getting better or Notre Dame’s just really bad – my friend tells me that USC is losing to Nebraska. I figured he was just checking scores. However, he gives me his Treo and I’m suddenly watching a live feed of the USC game!
My buddy was using his Sprint Treo and watching mobile TV via his Slingbox. Slingbox is a service which allows you to watch your “home” programming on a device of your choice (computer, mobile phone). On this note, I know this is a dilemma for carriers that are trying to promote their own offerings.
The key question – do they allow this service to grow and have it potentially cannabilize their own service? My answer is yes. Streaming Slingbox is not cannabilizing this opportunity – it is growing a market that does not exist.
As many folks know, wireless carriers are hoping that Mobile TV is going to generate revenues in the near future. However, at this point in the game, it is really hard to tell if consumers are even interested in such a product. In fact, I have not heard any buzz about mobile TV at all. That doesn’t mean there is no chance of success. Consumers weren’t clamoring for text messaging a few years ago but that has turned out to be a quite profitable and growing revenue source.
There is potential for the product but carriers have some current limitations. For instance:
Lots of folks don’t have handsets that are capable of viewing tv broadcasts.
Only a few select cities are offering the service.
Only a small percentage of new handsets are equipped with video capability.
Those challenges will be addressed sooner rather than later. However, in the interim, let consumers enjoy and promote this service. Both carriers and consumers will reap the benefits.
Will YOU tune in?