Friday, 2 October 2009

Industry calls for launch of Mobile TV before CWG

It happened in China during the Beijing Olympics where the country used effectively the event to introduce some new services and thereby increasing consumer awareness about the services. With the hope to replicate the same in India, IPTV Forum at its Annual General Meeting made a pitch to introduce mobile TV services during the next year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Echoing the intentions, lobbies, such as AUSPI, COAI, ASSOCHAM and the I&B Ministry came together and made a unanimous call on this proposal. The theme of the meet titled ‘Mobile TV-Enhancement of Choice’ itself jelled with the intentions.

Addressing a select group of media, Dr. DPS Seth, President of IPTV India Forum kicked off an interesting discussion thread by identifying the key issues confronting the launch of Mobile TV in India.

While reasserting the significance of Mobile TV, Parag Kar, Senior Director GA, Qualcomm drew attention towards the relevance of Mobile TV in India. “Mobile TV as a service holds high relevance for India as Indians in general are known to have strong appetite for entertainment and with a strong affinity for events such as cricket and bollywood, Mobile TV packs immense potential in the country.”

“However, many consumers take an apprehensive stance over the new service, owing to the fear of having to change their mobile handsets to access Mobile TV. But, there is a new dongle from Qualcomm available in the market that can enable an ordinary mobile phone access Mobile TV”.

Adding further, “But the government needs to take immediate move on Mobile TV as the Commonwealth game is fast approaching and the service will take time to deploy once the policy is released.”

Raghu Menon, IAS, Secretary I&B differed from other co-speakers as he noted the readiness of people for Mobile TV as the primary factor for Mobile TV launch and not the coming Common Wealth Games.

“The policy for the Mobile TV should not target the Common wealth games but see how prepared people are for the service. If the government and the industry work hand in hand then the Mobile TV is not a distant dream for us.”

The panelists rang in an exciting session as the issue of whether to go for technology neutral or technology specific largely occupied the centre stage of the discussion. A consensus was reached on technology neutral as a better choice than technology specific. “Technology neutrality will ensure the empowerment of consumers by offering multiple choices,” voiced Mr. Kar.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mahesh Uppal, a telecom consultant described the adoption of technology neutrality not just important but critical as well.

The round table provided the opportunity to decode the concept of Mobile TV. Further, it sent a clear message regarding the need to continue to build momentum on the launch of Mobile TV in India.


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