A study of Japanese consumers suggests that they are more likely to adopt mobile television having experienced it at first hand. Qualcomm says that it shows paid mobile broadcasting services based on their MediaFLO technology will be attractive to Japanese customers, despite the availability of a free service using the ISDB-T standard.

The study was conducted by Accenture on behalf of mobile technology company Qualcomm and network provider KDDI, who are jointly seeking to provide broadcast mobile television services in Japan. Qualcomm is pushing its MediaFLO technology as an alternative to standards such as DVB-H or ISDB-T. It argues that it is specifically designed for multicasting multimedia over mobile networks and can offer more channels with faster switching times.

“We see Japan as a leading market for deployment of advanced mobile services like mobile TV,” said Peggy Johnson, responsible for MediaFLO at Qualcomm. “We believe that MediaFLO is the right mobile broadcasting technology for the demanding Japanese audience.”

The survey was based on more than 3,000 Japanese consumers. It showed that while only 41% of respondents said that they intended to use mobile broadcast services, the number doubled to 83% among focus group testers who were able to try out the service.

Of those that used the handsets, 92% responded positively about the picture quality, while 87% were positive about the usability of the electronic programme guide, with 45% saying that they wanted more than 30 channels available. The most popular programme genre was said to be news, followed by drama.

The study suggests that the Japanese market for paid multichannel broadcasting to mobile phones within five years of launch could be worth $3.8 billion, with about 40 million users.