Swisscom just announced it will stop its DVB-H service for Switzerland, putting DVB-H standard in a very difficult position.
But Swisscom is not stopping its mobile TV service for good, it is just switching from DVB-H to streamed TV over 3G. The only remaining country with a DVB-H service is now Italy.
2 main reasons are at the origin of this DVB-H failure:
1. Business Model
DVB-H is at the crossroad between 2 ecosystems: broadcast TV ecosystem and mobile ecosystem. Stakeholders of both have fought to establish their views but none has prevailed in any country.
2. Too few compatible devices
The DVB-H portfolio is very limited with only one strong supporter: Nokia
Hence, the main technology to enable mobile TV is today streaming over 3G which is supported nearly by all operators. This approach has one big (enormous) flaw, its is to put more strain on crowded 3G networks.
But one shouldn’t count out broadcasters to quickly. DVB-T tuners on a chip are gaining momentum: prices are decreasing very fast and chip makers are doing their best to integrate several antennas so the device can catch the signal even when on the move.
I think the future of mobile TV will be a mix of DVB-T and steamed TV as you can find in any DSL set-top box (DVB-T tuner + IPTV). For live TV, your mobile device will use the DVB-T signal and for on-demand programs and subscription channels it will use 3G streamed TV.