SINGAPORE—The mobile video market in China will take off in 2008, driven by interest in the 2008 Summer Olympics to be held in Beijing. A study from ABI Research forecasts total mobile video users at more than 32 million in 2008; approximately 27 percent of these consumers will use broadcasting technology, and 73 percent will use unicast streaming technology, while a number of viewers are likely to use both.
In 2006, SARFT, the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television, announced two handset-related standards. DAB is likely to be the first phase of mobile multimedia broadcasting standards development in China. DAB paves the way for upgrading to China's proposed mobile multimedia broadcasting standard, T-DMB, a terrestrial implementation of SK Telecom's mobile video format.
Because both standards are voluntary, there are questions surrounding their effect in the market. "It is likely that local media groups and TV stations will deploy DAB initially, and implement T-DMB at a later date," says ABI research director Jake Saunders. "The Chinese government will give preference to a standard that will be used in the 2008 Olympics, and DAB has been listed as one of the broadcast services that will be available at the Beijing Games."
In Hong Kong, mobile operators are active in mobile video streaming. Their international operations backgrounds allow them to provide diversified content to users. ABI forecasts that there will be 715,000 mobile video users in Hong Kong in 2008, of which 99 percent will be streaming users.
Further information on ABI's report "Mobile Video in China" is available at www.abiresearch.com