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Mobile Televion Trial Launching in Washington DC This Summer

A consumer test of mobile TV broadcasts is scheduled to launch this summer in Washington, D.C. Another trial of similar technology is scheduled to appear in both Atlanta and Seattle in the coming weeks. This, on top of a trial that launched in Raleigh, N.C. a short while ago.

The technology (mobile bandwidth, mobile handsets and the like) has been available to bring video and movies to mobile people for some time. U.S. consumers, on the other hand, haven't taken to these services for a number of reasons.

Some of the reasons are, the cost of the handsets, the limited viewing area on the handheld devices and the cost of the service.

The Open Mobile Video Coalition, one of the industry groups behind these trials, believes that local digital television broadcasts are just the thing to draw consumers to the fold. They point out that local broadcasters would have a new source of income, advertisements targeting mobile consumers, with little additional work.

The Coalition is working both social media and traditional media in the hopes of building both the supply of digital content and consumers for that content at the same time.

It is not at all clear to me that people are willing to pay twice (once at home for a cable television service and once for an over-the-air, mobile service) for the same content. I'd advice local cable companies to offer this as an additional service to their customers for a small additional fee. A model somewhat like wireless telephone services could be used. The mobile device could be provided "at no additional charge" if consumers signed up for a multi-year agreement.

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