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electronics component makers Mobile

72.5% of all digital mobile TV on this planet earth is in Japan

About 50 million mobile phones equipped with digital terrestrial mobile TV (“oneseg”) have been delivered up until today – not counting “oneseg” tuners for PCs, car navigation units and stand-alone units. Comparing this number with reports of mobile TV roll-out in other countries around the world, we conclude that 72.5% of todays mobile phones with mobile TV are in Japan.

How much mobile TV do Japanese people watch on their mobile phones?
In the latest version of our mobile-TV report, we explain in detail our methods to determine that averaged over all of Japan’s population of 125 million (including those who don’t have a mobile-TV yet), the average viewing time is between 0.4 – 2.3 hours of mobile TV / month. WOW!

Mobile TV 2.0 (OneSeg-2)
Not surprisingly, Japan’s media giants are now starting to move, and develop programming specially designed for mobile TV: for example “lunchbox” mobile TV broadcast to mobile phones from 12:00noon – 12:40pm weekdays with news, weather, diet information, summaries of TV shows… it’s only a question of weeks or months now in Japan for mobile TV to develop into a totally new advertising and m-commerce medium, and some has started already.

Starting the global mobile internet revolution with i-Mode in February 1999, we can see Japan’s leadership emerging in the mobile TV arena. Japan’s challenge is to leverage this know-how globally, Japan missed this chance with i-Mode and left the field to iPhone and friends!

In December 2008 97.5% of global mobile TV was in Japan and S-Korea
In December 2008 97.5% of global mobile TV was in Japan and S-Korea

72.5% of all mobile phones with digital TV globally are in Japan:
In the same way as with mobile internet (i-mode), Japan is again the global forerunner in mobile TV, together with South Korea.

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media Mobile TV

75% of mobile phones in Japan ship with digital mobile TV

Digital mobile TV started in Japan in 2005 – about 3 years ago: KDDI/AU sold the first phones with digital mobile TV starting in October 2005, at the same time mobile TV was available for public testing. The official commercial service of mobile TV started on April 1, 2006.

Today more than 75% ship with 1-seg mobile digital TV tuner and software, and the percentage is rapidly increasing as the figure below shows. Quite soon, almost all mobile phones in Japan will ship with digital mobile TV.

Percentage of Japanese mobile phones shipped with 1seg mobile TV built in
Percentage of Japanese mobile phones shipped with 1seg mobile TV built in

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Mobile TV

1-SEG

1-SEG? One-Seg? wansegu?

In Japan the nickname for digital mobile TV is written in Katakana: ワンセグ (pronounced wansegu). Japanese people love to abbreviate – oneseg is short for One Segment. Why?

The reason is technical: digital TV is broadcast in certain radio frequency channels. Each TV station (e.g. NHK, Fuji-TV, TBS etc) uses one particular 6 MHz wide frequency channel for digital TV broadcasts. Each channel is divided into 14 segments, and one segment is used for digital TV to mobile phones, while the other remaining 12 segments are used for high-definition digital TV, while the 14th segment is used as a buffer between adjacent channels to avoid interference.

Read our report on mobile TV in Japan.

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Categories
Mobile TV

Mobile TV

Digital mobile TV started officially in Japan on April 1, 2006 after several months of testing. Japan’s media industry is large – Japan’s broadcasting industry alone is about US$ 40 billion sales/year, so mobile-TV will probably develop into a multibillion-$ industry over the next few years. At the moment there is a chicken-and-egg situation: content providers need a market with lots of subscribers, but subscribers will only buy handsets if there is enough good content. So investment and a longterm view is necessary to jumpstart this new market.

Apparently about 500,000 mobile phones with digital TV have been sold already – KDDI started selling mobile phones for digital terrestrial TV (1-SEG) from autumn 2005, while DoCoMo introduced the first digital TV handset only a few weeks ago.

According to major phone retailers, buyers are mainly men in the 25-35 age group. So there are some more steps to do until mobile TV goes mainstream, for example, making mobile-TV enabled phones smaller and more attractive for female customers.

Viewers can watch TV and they can purchase & download the music, join fan clubs and much more

First simple estimations by our team based on analysis of Japan’s TV industry and on the development of i-mode in Japan show that the mobile TV industry segment in Japan may well reach a volume of US$ 4 billion or more within a few years for m-commerce, advertising and other business combined.

…more about mobile-TV: download our mobile-TV report

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