chapter  22
Mobile TV: The Future
Pages 10

This chapter is not about the future of mobile TV. No one has been able to forecast the future in this industry, just as no one forecasted the rise of Google, YouTube, or Twitter. This is an industry in which new giants can emerge in a year’s time and existing businesses can sink into oblivion, just as paging did after cellphones came in. We do not fault Western Union for having evaluated the telephone as having “ too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication, ” as we do not fault Lord Kelvin Thomson for his prediction that “ radio has no future. ” But although the future cannot be predicted, there are events and some early trends that can be spotted. Wi-Fi, for example, grew to a billion devices within three years after the Wi-Fi chip was developed in 2003. CMMB services in China expanded to 190 cities within two years after SARFT made some swift decisions. There are events happening constantly, such as the adoption of standards (e.g., ATSC Mobile DTV), spectrum allocations, country policies (e.g., free broadband for all), launches of unique devices (e.g., the iPhone or PNDs), and so on. Some of these events then start trending toward major developments and an early spotting of such trends can mean success or failure. This chapter is about spotting such trends.