World Cup to drive mobile video usage worldwide

Poor video quality, high pricing could discourage many from viewing the games on their mobile devices

The World Cup, set to kick off next week in Brazil, is expected to spur demand for mobile video worldwide, judges market research firm Strategy Analytics.

"The World Cup offers an opportunity for mobile operators to let users experience the addictiveness of high quality video. Ensuring the availability of large screen, video optimized devices across handset portfolios, enhanced video quality delivered over the network and migrating users to 4G services will all serve to stimulate greater mobile video activity," says Nitesh Patel, director of wireless media strategies at Strategy Analytics.

At the same time, a survey of 2,200 mobile users in the UK, Spain and Germany by Censuswide for Openwave Mobility found that many respondents interested in watching the World Cup would not do so because of video quality and pricing issues.

Spanish mobile users were the most enthusiastic about watching the World Cup on their mobile devices, with 68 percent saying they likely would. At the same time, one of four of those Spanish users would not do so because of poor video quality and fears of "bill shock".

In addition, there has been some concern expressed that Brazil would not have the mobile infrastructure in place to handle the expected explosion in mobile traffic generated by fans gathering in the country's stadiums.

Brazil had only 60,000 base receiving stations in place last year, about as many as AT&T has in the United States, and slow mobile data speeds of 1.4 Mbps, according to Stephane Teral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

According to a Reuters report from this week, while 4G cellular service will be available in all 12 Brazilian cities hosting the games, only six of the 12 stadiums will offer Wi-Fi to fans. Wi-Fi service will not be available in Sao Paulo, Curitiba, Recife, Fortaleza, Natal and Belo Horzonte.

For more:
- check out the Strategy Analytics release
- see the Openwave survey results
- read the Reuters report

Related Articles:
Brazil not mobile ready for World Cup
Twitter, ESPN partner for ad-supported sports video highlights
How mobile is transforming the Super Bowl fan experience