Telegent chip-in with Mobile TV World
Telegent Systems is the global leader in mobile TV solutions and has shipped more than 100 million free-to-air mobile TV receivers in handsets sold worldwide since mid-2007.
I conversed with Diana Jovin, VP Corporate Marketing and Business Development at Telegent Systems, to get a feel for the global impact mobile TV is having and what to expect from Telegent in the coming year.
Diana, in a word describe Telegent Systems.
Since formation in 2004, Telegent has developed into the market leader in mobile TV solutions. What steps are you taking to keep ahead of rival chip companies?
“We are continuing to invest in the technical innovation that our customers care about, which includes continually reducing the overall footprint and power consumption of our mobile TV receivers, and increasing picture clarity and sensitivity.”
Diana continued: “During the last few years we have developed strong relationships with our partners to become an integral component in the supply chain ecosystem in the markets that we currently serve.”
Do you believe the mobile TV market to be sustainable at this point?
“With the proliferation of our analogue chips we have laid the foundation for a sustainable mobile TV market and we are now beginning to build on this by expanding into digital standards, such as ISDB-Tb in Latin American and DVB-T in other regions.”
With more and more countries making the switch to digital TV, do you see the analogue mobile TV chip market continuing to grow?
“The analogue mobile TV chip market will continue to see strong growth. This is due to the fact that most of the global population will continue to have access to television delivered over analogue broadcast TV standards for the next ten years, or even longer in some cases.”
Even in the less developed markets?
“This is particularly true in the emerging markets, where free-to-air mobile TV handsets have proven to be extremely popular with consumers that use feature phones and low-cost handsets.”
China is a huge market for mobile TV, does Telegent expect continued growth there?
“Many leading industry analysts point to China and the CMMB, along with Latin America and ISDB-Tb, as the two digital mobile TV standards that will generate significant numbers of viewers over the next few years.”
Do you intend to explore the South American market?
“Free-to-air mobile television is already extremely popular throughout Latin America, and a significant number of the mobile TV receivers currently shipped by Telegent Systems are installed in handsets delivered to that market. At the end of 2010, Telegent Systems introduced a hybrid analogue TV/ISDB-T mobile TV receiver that enables consumers to enjoy both the clarity of digital TV where it is available, and the ubiquitous coverage of analogue TV where it is not.”
At Mobile TV World we believe free content will 'kick-start' mass adoption of mobile TV. Is ‘free’ the way to go?
“Telegent has focused its technology innovation on enabling the reception of free-to-air mobile television on handsets, leveraging the existing television broadcast ecosystem including both standards and content.”
Considering you have shipped more than 100 million mobile TV receivers, it would appear, there is a strong global demand for this type of technology – but what about subscription services – is there any interest?
“In stark contrast to free-to-air offerings, subscription services delivered over proprietary broadcast networks have not been able to generate similar numbers of mobile TV viewers. Consumers around the world indicated a preference for free-to-air mobile TV offerings, making free-to-air broadcast television standards the dominant standard for delivery of mobile TV.”
What are your plans for digital mobile TV chips that give devices access to services like the UK's Freeview TV?
“Telegent Systems currently ships a mobile TV receiver that supports both analogue and DVB-T broadcast television standards.”
Sports programmes are widely considered as the most viewed programming on mobile TV – is that accurate?
“We have conducted a number of consumer surveys focused on the global markets where Telegent is currently active. The results indicate that consumers watch all types of programming on handsets that include a mobile TV feature, but that news and sports are certainly two of the most popular types of content viewed.”
Do you believe sport will help drive the current adoption of mobile TV even further?
“Global sporting events such as the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup tend to generate 'can't miss' moments in sports events that spur interest in mobile TV. To capitalise on this we have seen operators, retailers and distributors make big investments in marketing and promotion around these events to pique the interest of first-time mobile TV viewers.”
Consumers give us a lot of feedback concerning poor battery life in mobile devices. Are Telegent actively tackling this issue?
“Telegent is continually reducing the power consumption of its mobile TV receivers, consumers using devices with a mobile TV feature powered by our technology can watch analogue television for up to six hours or even longer in some cases.”
Is that enough to ensure practicality?
“The lifespan of the session certainly covers a number of different use cases such as a long commute to work, during breaks at work or just place shifting from the TV at home if someone else in the family is watching another programme.”
Will 2011 be a defining year for Mobile TV?
“It seems that almost every year there are mobile TV industry pundits who predict that ‘this year’ will be the defining year for mobile TV. However, the reality is that in some parts of the world such as in the emerging markets mobile TV already has a very strong foothold, whereas in the US and Europe it is only just beginning to find its footing due to the different supply chain dynamics of those regions.”
“Television as a broadcast technology, which provides a vast portfolio of popular content, has ubiquitous global appeal. Our experience in the market has indicated that consumers around the world like watching broadcast television on mobile devices, and value the ability to have access to the popular content that they enjoy viewing on conventional TV sets no matter where they are” Diana added.
So progress in 2011, not revolution?
“In 2011, we will continue to see further developments and technology innovation that will bring us closer to a situation when mobile television is a standard feature on every handset.”