PLDT rules out myTV relaunch

5 Aug 2010

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), the Philippines’ largest telecoms group by revenues and subscribers, has no plans to relaunch its mobile television service myTV, an official of MediaQuest Holdings, the media holding company of the PLDT retirement fund, is quoted as saying. In response to a question on when myTV services would be resumed, MediaQuest president Ray Espinosa said: ‘Not anymore. There is a different technology now.’

PLDT’s Smart Communications mobile division announced it would no longer offer its myTV mobile service to customers in May this year. As reported by CommsUpdate at the time, the service was being offered for free on a trial basis, but was suspended indefinitely effective 1 April 2010. PLDT was understood to be awaiting new government rules on the provision of mobile TV services before rushing headlong into a full-blown commercial service. Its suspension however, came in the wake of a complaint by the Philippine Cable Television Association (PCTA) that PLDT was breaking rules in the way it was using frequencies by different PLDT-owned subsidiaries. myTV used to run on a network independent of existing cellular infrastructure with subscribers able to view TV broadcasts 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, the telecoms regulator the National Telecommunications Commission has now opted to adopt Japan’s Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standard as its sole standard for the delivery of digital terrestrial technology (DTT) services in the Philippines.

Explaining PLDT’s decision to walk away from myTV Espinosa added: ‘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.’ This sentiment is echoed by Globe Telecom president Ernest Cu who recently confirmed his firm would not offer a mobile TV service; there are only a few handsets that support it, he said. Previously, Globe’s mobile TV service ran on its 3G network.

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