By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
TWICE: How quickly are consumers adopting such services as music and video streaming over cellular, downloadable games and other non-voice applications? Consumers might buy handsets capable of these features, but are they subscribing to the services that enable them to use the features?
Laikin: Data services are on the rise, and data ARPU is becoming a meaningful portion of a carrier's overall service ARPU. The U.S. has been a bit behind when compared to Europe and Asia in the adoption of data services — however, the uptake is certainly increasing. Carriers are highly focused on driving data demand on the device as they look to offset the declining voice ARPU with Data ARPU. Deployment of 3G networks and increasing adoption of 3G wireless devices will further accelerate the demand for data services.
Misuraca: Really quickly. Most of my colleagues and friends have accessed many of the above and really enjoy the services. Is adoption meeting expectations? Overall I don't know. Clearly the individuals who purchase these handsets for specific reasons absolutely subscribe to these special and unique services. However, many do not and just use the handset as a voice communication device.
TWICE: How has demand been for live-TV and other video streaming services been over cellular? And what are the prospects for MediaFLO and DVB-H video broadcasts to portable devices?
Laikin: Mobile TV is still in its infancy in terms of mass commercialization. Qualcomm with its MediaFLO technology and Modeo with its DVB-H technology are in the process of conducting trials with certain operators, and I believe it is only a matter of time before mobile TV becomes one of the significant factors driving mobile device demand. We should start to see some uptake in the second half of 2007.
It is difficult to say at this time as to how many mobile TV digital broadcast systems will be deployed in the U.S. and whether both the Media FLO and DVB-H systems will garner equal support from the carriers. I expect all major carriers to offer mobile digital service to their customers in the U.S.
I also think that this technology can be moved over to the PC world where, by plugging-in a DVB-H or FLO-card in your laptop, you would be able to view TV on your laptop.
Misuraca: I think it's more the interest or curiosity that everyone is talking about. It's no longer a futuristic thing — people huddle around in airports when someone is using this service. It attracts quite a bit of attention. I'm still not sure they're taking the next step to purchase one of their own, however.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.