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Free-to-air services help mobile TV market: chip firm
HELSINKI (Reuters) - Fast uptake of free-to-air mobile TV services in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe is breathing new life into the ailing mobile TV broadcasting market, chip firm Telegent Systems said.
Mobile television broadcasting, the hottest new feature for cellphones only a few years ago, has been widely picked up by consumers in Japan and South Korea, where more than 90 percent of global mobile TV viewers live.
Telegent said on Wednesday it has shipped 50 million mobile TV chips -- controlling more than half of the mobile TV market, which analysts see at around 80 million.
"The availability of handsets that support analog broadcast TV ... has ignited the growth of free-to-air mobile TV globally," Samuel Sheng, new CEO of Telegent, told Reuters.
"We expect to see this (to) continue right across the world, including in developed economies, as free-to-air handsets become available that support the new digital TV standards emerging in those regions," said Sheng.
Expectations for mobile TV business have fallen sharply. Strategy Analytics expects the mobile TV broadcasting market to total $280 million next year. Only three years ago the firm forecast the market to reach $5.4 billion in 2010.
Telegent is owned by venture firms Index Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Northern Light Venture Capital and Walden International. (Reporting by Tarmo Virki; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
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