Mobile TV: Don’t Forget Femtocells and Sideloads

Mobile operators getting into the mobile TV should not forget about femtocells and sideloading, according to a new report from Analysys Mason. Concerns over the ability of existing 3G networks to deliver video are pushing operators to combine 3G networks with dedicated mobile broadcast networks like DVB-H and MediaFLO. But operators should not overlook existing indoor wireless methods such as femtocells, WLAN and sideloading as important video delivery mechanisms. Analysys Mason writes:

  • 36 – 50 percent of DVB-H trial participants are using mobile TV services in the home. This traffic could be carried by femtocells (small base stations that connect and extend a provider’s coverage inside the home) at a potentially higher quality than 3G networks.
  • Sideloading, where content is transferred from a PC to the phone, could be used for content that is not time-sensitive, such as pre-recorded TV (like transferring Lost from your iTunes to your iPhone).
  • Operators without broadcast networks could remain competitive without clogging their 3G networks. If 75 percent of mobile video content was delivered via sideloading, and 60 percent was streamed inside the house, then 3G networks would only need to carry just 10 percent of mobile TV traffic.