If you live in Japan or South Korea you’ve already been able to watch the country’s main channels on your cellphone for up to a year, and it seems you quite like it. But the rest of the world is a little behind the curve: The first commercial rollout in Europe was in Italy in June, while trials have been launched elsewhere in Asia in places such as Vietnam and Indonesia in recent months.
Once we get used to having TV wherever we are, on a screen that fits in our pocket, other similar video services won’t be far behind, such as TV programs tailored to the small screen. And, as Junko Yoshida, a news editor for the electronics weekly newspaper EE Times, points out, the mobile-phone industry was surprised to find in one trial that it might not just be about portability, but privacy. “A lot of people loved the ‘personal’ aspect of mobile TV,” she says, “so that they not only watched it in their commute but they even took a mobile TV to their bed to watch.”