Market competitiveness of mobile TV industry in China
Lin, Trisha T. C.
Date of Issue2012
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Mobile TV is listed as China's national priority to develop the triple play system. Fast-growing China Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting services (CMMB) leads China's mobile TV industry and forms the largest network globally. As mobile TV regulation and technology became stable after the initial stage, this study focuses on CMMB's competitiveness in market/industry subsystem. Using document analysis and expert interviews, it analyzes CMMB's institution-driven and market-driven forces in the Chinese 3G/4G telecommunication market. The socio-technical framework is incorporated with seven forces model to examine commercialized CMMB and investigates its market and technoculture in Shanghai. Institutionally, CMMB business structure was collapsed into three levels which managed extensive and diverse Chinese markets strategically through a unified platform. After the business model switched to a subscription model, CMMB's rollout slowed down but turned it into a sustainable business. Besides, analysis of market forces shows CMMB's good market competiveness due to strong support from suppliers, complementors, and distribution channels and little threat from rivals, new entrants, and substitutes. CMMB users have increasing switching cost because of improved content/services and devices and no data charge fee. In contrast, CMMB faces stronger threat from competitors and substitutes and less loyal consumers in Shanghai than on a national level. CMMB's rapid developmental path provides meaningful implications for other countries in establishing mobile multimedia networks. This study recommends a pro-innovative and technology-neutral regulatory approach to develop mobile TV. Finally, the socio-technical model is found useful for analyzing technological development at different stages and contexts.
© 2012 Elsevier Ltd.