We will all soon be watching live television on our mobile phones, if predictions from technology analyst firm ABI Research come true.
The firm's principal analyst of semiconductor research, Alan Varghese, said that traditional barriers against beaming TV to mobiles were fast disappearing.
"There was a lot of hesitation, especially from the cellular operators. They could see little value in broadcasting TV to the handset, since it did not raise their average revenue per user," he said.
"They also felt that watching TV would drain batteries and prevent the user from making more revenue-generating voice and data calls."
However, ABI explained that operators began to get interested in streaming short television clips over their networks to generate traffic.
This was followed by the handset and integrated circuit vendors, regardless of operator concerns, starting to put mobile television on their product roadmaps.
Currently NEC, Nokia, Samsung and Toshiba have phones with built-in tuners that can receive TV broadcasts. Texas Instruments recently announced that it is developing digital TV on a single chip, according to ABI Research's Wireless Semiconductors study.
"Will users really gravitate to watching TV on the tiny screen of a cellphone? If the choice is between watching a full screen TV or TV in the handset, the decision will obviously be the former," said Varghese.
"But for those times when someone is waiting at a train station, airport or in a restaurant, TV in the handset is going to become commonplace."
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