The 2010 FIFA World Cup will boost the uptake of mobile video and mobile TV services in Western European (WE) markets, according to Pyramid Research. However, the effect on the service adoption in Central and Eastern European (CEE) markets is likely to be negligible.
Given that daily commuting consumes more time in WE than in CEE and that many more Western European national teams have qualified to participate in the 2010 World Cup, more Western European football fans will be watching the World Cup matches on their mobile handsets than their CEE counterparts.
The service adoption gap between WE and CEE will further widen throughout the forecast period because disposable incomes in WE are on average much higher than in CEE, and the services are priced more affordably.
The last World Cup demonstrated that mobile operators that provide mobile video and mobile TV service stand to benefit from such events, albeit to a lesser scale than their larger screen cousins. Prior to the 2006 World Cup, an Italian mobile operator, 3 Italia, launched Walk TV, its mobile TV service. According to 3 Italia’s CEO, after six weeks of the launch, 110,000 mobile users subscribed to Walk TV, and after 5 months the operator reported 250,000 subscribers. While mobile TV is still in its infancy in regions such as Africa, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe, in other regions such as Western Europe and Asia-Pacific, it may engage up to 4% of the total mobile subscribers by 2014.