PLDT rules out relaunch of mobile TV service

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2010 06:22 PM | Updated as of Aug 05 2010 02:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) group has ruled out future offering of mobile television service, an official of MediaQuest Holdings Inc., the media holding company of the PLDT retirement fund, said.

"Not anymore. There is a different technology now," MediaQuest president Ray Espinosa said when asked if the service will be relaunched.

The PLDT group suspended the myTV service indefinitely last April. It offered the service to the public in 2007 for free and on trial basis.

myTV used to run on a network independent of existing cellular infrastructure. It is not transmitted through the cellular network via video streaming and video-downloads services which are currently offered through 3G (third generation) cellular networks.

Subscribers used to view TV programs on Nokia N92 and N77 mobile phones, which could receive a high frequency radio signal via the Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld (DVB-H) European platform.

However, recently, the National Telecommunications Commission picked the Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standard of Japan as the sole standard in the delivery of DTT services in the country.

Espinosa said this is not the only reason why the company will no longer offer the service.

"We will just replace the small equipment to a new one that carries the Japanese technology, and that is just minimal in terms of cost because we already have the digital infrastructure in place. However, the concern here is the ubiquity of the device," he said.

"For me, if we try to understand the psych of Pinoys, I think it's harder to insist that they watch TV in their cellphones. We have a fondness for mobile phones and there are not many models which support mobile TV."

"It doesn't matter if the MediaScape and Smart had already invested in the service and in the equipment it used to deploy myTV. It's a service to our consumers which we are glad to have provided them," added the official.

Globe Telecom Inc. also said it is not going to offer mobile TV service. "Our competitor has stopped offering it already," said company president Ernest Cu.

Cu echoed Espinosa's statement that there are only a few handsets that support mobile TV.

Globe's mobile TV service ran on its 3G network.