Mobile to drive digital TV migration
Mobile devices should help foster the success of the country's digital TV migration as the number of devices seeking approval to receive digital TV signals before they go on sale is high.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) was surprised to see requests for mobile devices neared those for digital TV set-top boxes, said Thanongsak Sukhanindr, acting director for mobile TV and IPTV.
Mobile devices that can receive digital TV signals are tablets, smartphones and built-in TV screens for cars. Any mobile device that plans to receive digital TV signals needs to seek approval from the telecom regulator.
"This shows digitisation may depend on mobility, as consumers prefer to be connected anywhere, anytime," he said.
Even though these mobile devices are not included in the digital TV subsidy coupon programme, which began on Monday, request for their approval to receive digital TV remains high, reflecting high demand in the mobile market.
The NBTC issued 6.4 million stickers to identify qualified digital TV signal receivers the past 12 months, of which 2.4 million were for set-top boxes, with 2 million for TV sets and 2 million for mobile devices and tablets. Another 5.1 million stickers are expected to be issued for qualified digital TV receivers, including 1.7 million for digital TV sets, 2.4 million for set-top boxes and 1 million for mobile devices.
Mr Thanongsak said 90% of mobile devices that received permission came from Samart I-Mobile.
The NBTC expects to approve 10 million stickers by year-end. Smart TV sets with signal receivers are predicted to replace traditional TVs with annual sales of 17 million sets within three years, reported an NBTC study.
These portable devices suit the urban lifestyle, as people spend most of their time outside the home, particularly commuting. Advertisers were concerned about how they would reach consumers and track their viewing habits. But Thais spend more time watching TV after digital was introduced, up to 5.18 hours per day from 4.27, reported Nielsen Thailand.