Mobile Device Control, Streaming On Display At CTIA

"There are over 80 million people in the U.S. with mobile phones that can play video," said Manish Jha, CEO of Vantrix, "yet only a small fraction of them currently consume video on their phones. The industry needs compelling, innovative, and relevant content to drive its growth."

The Weather Channel thinks it has such content. As it does on television, the company plans to update weather reports every thirty minutes for each of 100 metropolitan areas covered by The Weather Channel. This results in nearly 5,000 new videos every day.

According to Telephia, mobile video revenues are still relatively small in the U,S,, totaling only $146 million in Q1 2007. But the growth rate is impressive, growing 198 percent year-over-year.

More importantly, though, Telephia found that video consumers had the highest recall of viewing ads on mobile devices versus other mobile data service consumers. The Weather Channel already has a mobile advertising staff, which will manage the future sales of the available advertising inventory on the new video service.

"For people on the go, current weather information is incredibly important," said Louis Gump, vice president of mobile for The Weather Channel Interactive. "They are already used to our service on the web, and we believe that this new service will showcase the value of an integrated mobile web and video experience."

Finally, an announcement out of the other camp—the one that has the lion’s share of mobile devices out there—was made as part of the Smartphone Summit, held in conjunction with the CTIA show. Symbian, the operating system on many Nokia phones, is launching a new graphics architecture for its Symbian OS. Intended to provide video content playback on Symbian-based phones, the company has been working on ways to allow "big screen effects" without sacrificing battery life. In addition, Symbian is restructuring its IP delivery stack to allow phones to take advantage of faster mobile broadband speeds, creating the potential for VoIP on Symbian phones, as well as higher-quality streaming.

"Smartphones are increasingly becoming interpersonal computers with similar specifications to desktop computers," said Symbian Chief Executive Officer Nigel Clifford, during a recent presentation. "But smartphones offer a more personal connected experience, so users now expect more from their favorite mobile device: they want a fully interactive Internet experience, the best graphics possible, seamless access to the quickest and cheapest connection available and the ability to download, watch, create, and upload high definition video content with high quality sound."

CTIA 2007 continues through Thursday, October 25, at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

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