Japan goes with FLOJapan goes with FLO
March 27, 2007
Japanese mobile operator KDDI and US chip firm Qualcomm saidd Tuesday that trials of mobile TV illustrated a commercial viability for paid mobile broadcast services in Japan.
Qualcomm and KDDI established a jointly owned company, MediaFLO Japan Planning Incorporated, in 2005, to examine the viability of deploying Qualcomm’s FLO mobile TV technology in Japan.
Recently, a study of more than 3,000 Japanese consumers revealed that mobile users are far more likely to take up mobile broadcast services after experiencing it firsthand.
“We are convinced that the survey results illustrate that paid mobile broadcasting services are attractive to Japanese customers despite the availability of the free ISDB-T service, and we believe that both services can coexist,” said Kazuhiko Masuda, president of MediaFLO Japan.
Qualcomm said that 41 per cent of the 3,000 survey respondents intend to use mobile broadcast services when available, while 83 per cent of testers of the service said they intend to use the service.
FLO is an untested technology in the commercial arena. Verizon Wireless, Qualcomm’s first commercial partner, only launched the service a few weeks ago in the US.
Meanwhile, trials of rival technologies, such as DAB-IP in Europe were also heralded as successful in the pilot phase, although commercial adoption has left a lot to be desired and other platforms such as DVB-H are stranded until the required spectrum becomes available.
Qualcomm said the potential Japanese market size for paid multichannel broadcasting to mobile phones within five years of service launch is estimated to be as large as Y450bn ($3.8bn) with about 40 million users
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