Mobile television broadcasts will reach the global masses in 2008, Sweden's LM Ericsson predicted on Thursday, saying it will work closely with Japan's Sony Corp to develop new media solutions for home users over wireless connections.
About one third of the world's mobile phone users will regularly be watching TV broadcasts on their handsets in two years, which will open up lucrative industries for both content producers and network distributors, said Per Nordlof, Ericsson's director of Product Strategy, at a joint press briefing with Sony in Stockholm.
The two companies already have the joint venture Sony Ericsson for making mobile phones, but said they also see numerous opportunities for cooperation to cash in on the expected boom for mobile TV.
"It plays to the strength of both companies," said Eric Siereveld, Sony Europe's director of Professional Solutions.
Ericsson is the leading supplier of mobile TV networks, he said, while "Sony's skill is clearly displayed in home electronics" that can make use of such broadcasts.
The two companies demonstrated a number of solutions it thinks will soon become commonplace in home entertainment, including systems where film footage and pictures can easily be sent between a regular TV and a mobile phone, allowing friends and family members to share footage at the press of a button.
Such solutions -- based on the Digital Living Network Alliance, a cross-industry standard for allowing digital devices to share content through a home network -- could hit the market by the second half of next year, Nordlof said.
Ericsson also announced a contract with Belgian phone operator Proximus to provide an end-to-end solution for mobile TV broadcasts.