Nigeria: Television coming to Mobile Phones

Technology & Convergence

What promises to be a major application in mobile services in a short while is mobile TV. This service will enable mobile phone subscribers watch television programmes on their mobile phones.

The services and viewing experience of mobile TV over mobile networks differ in a variety of ways from traditional TV viewing. Apart from mobility, mobile TV delivers a variety of services including video-on-demand, traditional/linear and live TV programs. Another exciting opportunity for users is Mobile TV pod casts, where content is delivered to a users’ mobile on demand or by subscriptions. A subscriber can store this content on his handset and view later even when there is no network connection. And a service provider can schedule the delivery to "off-peak" hours, for example during the night.

It is expected that the most popular genres and programmes on mobile TV will be entertainment (soaps, reality shows, comedy, animation), news, sport, music and children's programmes. This content will be tailored with the mobile viewer in mind. Experts predict that mobile TV programming will be a combination of original content from broadcast television and new content made specifically for mobile.

Ultimately, the mobile TV service of the future will be broadcast to multiple subscribers simultaneously. There are already technologies to achieve this. They include 3G Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS), Digital Video Broadcast Hand-held (DVB-H), Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) and MediaFlow. How early this novelty takes root in Nigeria will be determined by how soon 3G networks are fired up. Already, the Nigerian Communications has offered provisional licences to four operators to provide 3G services.

The Vanguard