back to article Nokia admits DVB-H still not taking off

Nokia's head of internet services has admitted DVB-H isn't taking off in the way the firm had hoped, and that customers seem more interested in downloading content than watching broadcasts. Niklas Savander told a conference in Helsinki: "We have seen that there are multiple segments who are not interested in the broadcasting, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    No surprising....

    I took a look at the link to a list of DVB-H services, the only 2 in the UK are in Cambridge and Oxford. Unless you run something like this in London it's doubtful it will take off IMO.

    Paris, because she knows all about taking off...

  2. Arthur Green

    The 3G lesson

    Seems to me that the mobile telcos may have figured out that it's not such a good idea to spend zillions on new technology without understanding what the customers' requirements are. The 3G experience finally sinks home ...

  3. dave lawless

    If I could afford it ....

    I might me interested in doing video on my mobile but at 1.50 a megabyte I can't afford it, so nor surprisingly I wait until I'm in Wifi range and download it for free.

    If Nokia want data services to be useful and widespread they need to get the carriers to lower their data charges, it's prohibitive to emerging digital markets.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Just give me a quality device that combines a telephone and a two-way alpha-numeric pager (SMS!!). Thats all most people want isn't it?

  5. Joe K

    Broadcasting what?

    Can't say i've ever felt the need to keep up with GMTV on the train, or the umpeenth repeat of the ever-depressing BBC breakfast news. Fuck all else to watch at the only times i'd bother to use the thing.

    I can't for the life of me imagine who thought this would be a good idea in the UK.

  6. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Broadcasting what?

    Tish and nonsense - why only this morning BBC Breakfast featured a ten-minute bit about bubblewrap and the psychological satisfaction to be derived from the popping thereof. Ooh, my eyes rolled back in my head at the very thought.

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Let us watch telly on the train

    I don't see the on demand mode becoming dominant but we don't yet another technology and additional billing. DVB-T to the phone would be used by loads of people although maybe not extensively and broadcasters would adapt to serve the market. I can imagine cartoons for commuters might be popular.

  8. Paul Charters

    Who the heck wants TV on your mobile?

    No seriously - why would you want to sit there watching a tiny little screen of a battery-chewing technology of a load of poor programmes?

    In the UK people are steadily turning off completely from terrestrial services because the programming is so poor, and it won't be too long until they start turning off from satellite and cable - after all, there are only so many times you can watch every Simpsons episode before you can't stomach their voices any longer...

    I mean....come on....are you REALLY all that desperate to get a report on whatever pre-manufactured little girl is wailing out another piece of manufactured audio files? Maybe if you stopped staring at your dumb-device and either read a book to learn something or maybe, just maybe, smile at someone and ask them how their day was, your life might have some meaning.

    Wow....I got carried away....

  9. Test Man

    Re: If I could afford it ....

    Actually DVB-H isn't about downloading programming content over 3G, it's the same sort of service that is already available via Freeview (DVB-T) as in over-the-air. Nokia don't need the carriers for DVB-H (apart from offering their phones to the public).

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Yet again....

    ... most of the comments on a Reg article come from people who proclaim they aren't interested in the main feature of the article. Watch tv or read articles on things I'm not interested in... and then post to tell everyone how much I'm not interested... mmm.... tough choice.....

    Personally I would probably watch some tv programmes but it'd really have to be on an iPlayer basis where you can request what you want to watch and the carriers need to sort out their flippin networks as theres no point watching a program on the bus only to have the network Edge or 3G coverage disappear every 2 minutes.

    Until they can offer consistent steady streams then obviously nobody is going to be interested in paying to watch them.

  11. moylan

    cost of data

    data has gotten cheaper in ireland. 99c for the first 50mb a day and then it gets really steep. there is no way that i'm going to watch tv at those prices. rss and email with a few pages thrown in.

    a bigger issue for me is that the nokia e61i phone which is fairly new that i have maxs out with a 2gb card which for watching stored films or listening to music is too limited.

    so i bought an ipod. sorry nokia but till you can offer at least an 8gb card slot i won't be using it for audio or video which is a pity as i prefered the mp3 player on the nokia than the ipod controls.

  12. Vince

    It won't work unless it works when you're on the move.

    I don't know how DVB-H works, but I'm the sort of person who would consider it, but there are some catches. If it uses mobile data, then it's not reliable enough to stream content when you're on the move.

    That leaves when you're in a static location. That means home, work or the pub.

    At home, instead of a tiny screen I've got 50 inches of plasma that do a great job so I don't need it. At work I've got 50 emails to deal with, so I haven't time, and at the pub I have friends and beer.

    That leaves me no useful scenarios.

    If I could count on it working all the time when I was say on the train for 2-3 hours then maybe. Until then 4OD does a good job of playing back stuff I downloaded the night before I travelled.

    Oh, and someone really needs to fix the battery life is issue first so you can watch programs without finding you're then without a phone all day as it's already dead.

  13. Joe K

    @ sarah

    "why only this morning BBC Breakfast featured a ten-minute bit about bubblewrap"

    If i was seeing that on the train i'd be shouting "oi, you stole that idea off Rimmer's bunkmate, Thickie Holden"

  14. brian

    @sarah bee

    That BubbleWrap - was it painted red with the word "Tension sheet" on it? Was it patent pending - Thickie Holden Enterprises?

    (Hint for those who don't watch Red Dwarf )

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    From what I can figure out DVB-H is much the same as freeview - it's an over-the-air transmission like radio, not a data service. This means it will work like a TV/Radio service does now - it has the same sort of restrictions as FreeView.

    Personally, I would pay 5/6 quid a month for access to the current TV schedules. I don't watch much but the odd bit when bored would be worth that much.

  16. pAnoNymous

    Maybe someone should tell OfCom?

    It seems that OfCom were banking on selling off all the spectrum to mobile companies, at least in part just for this purpose. With any luck they'll reconsider? If you sell off less maybe you can get a better price for it....

    Can't say I'm too surprised. BT shut down their DAB-IP TV service because hardly anyone was interested (Virgin were the only ones to launch a compatible phone in the end). I had a phone myself and hardly used it - watching TV whilst walking/on the bus isn’t exactly a lot of fun (of course you can forget about it on the tube). Tried it on some long train journeys but between the tunnels and being out of range that wasn't much use either. As for work (who has the time?) there's always a computer to hand. Not sure when you’re supposed to be watching TV on your mobile.

  17. Andy Hards
    Thumb Down

    iPlayer for the mobile would be better!

    I was thinking about waiting for the N96 because it seems that the only difference between the 95 and 96 is more memory and this tv thing. Don't live anywhere near Cambridge or Oxford though and would probably not watch it that much due to battery drainage. An iPlayer thing would be good. I've got YouTube on my phone which works ok so why not an iPlayer for the mobile. I'm sure that would be more used than iPlayer on a bloody PSP!

  18. netean
    Thumb Down


    is it just me... I really don't see the need, nor point of TV on my mobile... I have to be sitting down for long enough to watch a whole program (i.e. 30 mins) - err... when I'm doing that I'm at home... in front of the TV already!!!!

    all these technologies are great and all, but no one really stopped to think "do people really want it?"

    DVB-H = Phail!!!!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Totally agree, i had a DVB device that plugged into my laptop, got freeview stuff and the concept that on trains or when waiting for trains or people pass the time.

    Problem, poor coverage and the supplied tiny ariel was useless, needed a full roof antenna to work anywhere.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    There are problems here...

    Has anyone actually taken a head count?

    Yes 50 squilliom people use a mobile each day.

    Now narrow it down to:

    Those who spend say 30 minutes on the train / bus per journey + those who want it at lunchtime who work for living.

    - those that go to pub

    - those that can't get a signal.

    - Those with poor eyesight

    - those who don't want to spend a lot of money on a new handset


    far less than Nokia think....

    I suggest they do a little more market research outside major cities in future.

  21. dave thomson

    Mobile TV works in Japan

    ...But it works because they did it sensibly.

    The keitai's (mobile phones) receive digital TV over the air, not over the mobile network so there are no charges to use it.

    And to deal with the issue of spotty coverage or using on the underground - the keitai can record TV so you can play it back later. I believe you can even download TV on your keitai and transfer it via memory stick to your PC or PSP but I haven't tried this.

  22. J.Butler
    Thumb Down

    Mobiles to make calls...

    Or send text messages, I might stretch to having a handheld GPS device, other than that... I can't see any reason why anyone would want to watch TV on their mobiles.... and I don't know anyone who would beyond the first 5 minutes of novelty factor.

    The mobile companies are on a hiding to nothing with this.

  23. Twm Davies


    In general, the mobile market have worked on the segmentation principle. The majority of the users will use mobiles for phone calls, text and 1 other significant service.

    The other 1 service is rarely fixed and might be music player, camera, mobile web, games etc.

    The revenue from these other services is pretty small, and I don't see the problem with exploring mobile TV as a way of increasing ARPU if there is a genuine consumer demand for a service.

    Mobile TV has had a fair amount of market research in both europe and asia, which showed positive results in terms of how much punters would pay for mobileTV.

    However, at the time of the studies I had doubts about the ecological validity of the studies.

    With rolling news a vapid, content free - like a fart delivered in an important looking envelope. I can't really see the urgency for live content (see world cup Germany for lackluster response to mobile sports).

    I don't have a TV at the moment. I use a 3G card and a laptop - i tend to download in full and store a fair bit of content for when I'm traveling (that is hotels - I like reading books on trains). The iPlayer complements my life style rather well.

  24. Steve Evans

    Just because you can...

    Doesn't mean you should!

    Make an N95 with a better camera flash, and a better GPS chipset (i.e. one that locks on in under 2 minutes!) and I'll be a happy man.

    Oh, and recompile the old carddeck games so they run on S60 rev 3! I'm sure you'll find more calls for that on various blogs than you will for "I wanna watch tele!".

  25. foo_bar_baz
    Thumb Up

    3g etc

    I didn't care about 3g until it was "zero cost" to me. Since i no longer pay by MB i do a lot of surfing while commuting (typing this on an N95 on the bus). That and music on the phone, didn't miss them until the boss upgraded my phone last week (thx m8!)

    The point being many like myself don't want to pay the premium for new features but happily use them when they are standard features. Applies to dvb-h too. Mms i still don't use tho.

  26. Twm Davies

    Good point foo_bar_baz

    Until just over a year ago, I had never paid for a mobile phone bill in my life. Working for a telecoms company since graduation meant that I was probably the worst person to answer my friend's and families questions of "what's the cheapest phone deal".

    After around 8 years of free phone bills, early access to GPRS and 3G phones, I grew accustomed to having my email at hand, streaming video and maps and silly questions anwered instantly.

    When I started paying my own bills, I started with the most basic pay as you go for a few months to see what my usage patterns were and which luxuries I missed the most. I settled for a deal with cheap phone calls, free mins and text - and a 250mb monthly data tariff for just a few extra quid a month.

    The zero cost argument, is obviously what subsididers and advert brokers rely on to lower the barriers to mass uptake.

    But DVB-H, like digital radio are not 'Phormable' and so not currently attractive to the emerging subsidy models. Never has there been a more personal billboard as a mobile - an item that you check for after wallet, keys before leaving the house.

    MMS - they got it half right. People take photos of their exploits on night out all the time, but they are more likely to email them when the get back home, or add them to a facebook group - but operators can't make money out of that.

    I think you will see a growing number of people uploading direct from phones as the handsets are replaced over the next year or so.

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