The nascent mobile TV market in the US cannot support the current number of players and is likely to undergo consolidation, according to a new report from Parks Associates. The report specifically points to Crown Castle`s Modeo and Aloha Partner`s Hiwire as candidates for consolidation, with both companies planning to launch nationwide mobile TV networks using DVB-H technology. ~
Parks Associates cites several factors that make consolidation likely. In addition to Hiwire and Modeo, Qualcomm and Sprint-Nextel are both planning to deploy new networks, bringing the total to four.
This number is high by international standards despite the fact that the US has a relatively low cellular penetration rate. Italy and South Korea, by comparison, have just two networks each even though consumers in these countries show a stronger propensity for using mobile phones as multimedia platforms.~
"If you do the math, there are four networks for four operators, and that isn`t realistic because you lose all the advantages of network sharing," said John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates. "Consolidation would be a win-win scenario for the industry. Hiwire needs a network, and Modeo needs a more favorable spectrum allocation. They are a natural fit, whereas Sprint-Nextel has a large subscriber base to support its network and Qualcomm is dedicated to promoting its technology and chipsets."~
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