Mobile TV explosion by 2011

Broadcast mobile TV is set to take off with 244 million handsets shipped by 2011, a report claims

Mobile TV is set to explode over the next four years with some 244 million TV devices in our pockets by 2011.

The figures in a new report by Multimedia Research Group in the US suggest broadcast mobile TV take-up will be almost double previous forecasts. The report suggest 2009 will see a surge in broadcast TV enabled mobile devices, with 53 million devices forecast to arrive on the market.

The report is based on analysis of over 70 trials and live mobile TV services using all prospective TV technologies. It looks at expected launch dates of mobile TV services in 55 countries across the world, extrapolating anticipated take up rates in each of the countries.

Currently broadcast mobile TV is being trialled in over 80 countries worldwide. Some commercial services have already launched in the Far East and Europe. In the UK, Virgin Mobile' s DAB-IP based service using BT Movio broadcast TV technology is the only over-the-air broadcast TV service currently available to consumers. Although other technologies have been trialled.

The report forecast does not include in its projected figures streamed TV services, such as those offered by some 3G mobile operators in the UK.

The research suggests that 50 to 60 broadcast mobile TV services will come online in 2009, with China and Asia Pacific markets leading the way. Some 103 million handsets are expected to ship there by 2011.

Western Europe is also expected to show strong growth, with 73 million TV phones shipped by 2011. Some 40 million will be shipped in the US, the report concludes. Globally, the report estimates that the mobile TV market will be worth $24 billion by 2011.