Two of the country’s national wireless operators plan to introduce mobile television services in the second quarter of this year. Rogers Wireless Inc. unveiled its plans on April 14 and Bell Mobility issued a statement later that same day announcing that it, too, would introduce services next month.  During a media conference to announce the service launch, Rogers Wireless president and CEO Nadir Mohamed said the announcement capitalizes on megatrends, including "the coming together of television, Internet and telephony and makes it real in the form of Rogers Mobile TV."  Rogers Wireless and Bell Mobility are in a unique situation in that they are both a single part of a larger corporate entity with diverse holdings in media, broadcasting, communications and content. A mobile TV offering is made much easier when all these elements are found together.  Mobile television services for both companies is made possible with the help of Idetic Inc., the developer of MobiTV. Philip Alvelda, chair and CEO of Idetic, said during the press conference that unlike in the United States where there is large chasm between broadcasters and network operators, that isn’t the case in Canada.  Convergence foresight "It has been in many cases a rocky relationship (in the United States) getting the content right, solidifying them in a coherent product offering and giving the customers what they want. But in the case of Rogers, I think the foresight of having the unification of the content, the cable operations, and now the mobile operations with a converged TV product is truly an unprecedented opportunity," he said.  It won’t be an easy road to bring viewers to what Rogers dubs the "third screen" as price could deter many people from buying into the service. Alvelda said that hasn’t been the case in the United States where the MobiTV service has several hundred thousand users on a monthly basis. Noting that people already have a general good understanding of TV and what it is all about, this makes it easier to talk to those same people about mobile TV. "It would surprise you to learn that in the United States, (where) we’ve built the MobiTV product, people will pay more for MobiTV than any other wireless application. It’s easier to sell than any other wireless application because you don’t have to explain technology. You don’t have to explain data service," he said.  Mohamed is bullish on the company’s future success with Rogers Mobile TV, noting that there are approximately 750,000 current Rogers Wireless subscribers that have handsets capable of receiving video. "In terms of take rates, frankly if you are at the US experience, a few hundred thousand after about a year, you can do the math in terms of scale," he said.  No cannibalization a key rule At the end of the day this service is about bringing in more revenue for not only Rogers Wireless but other wireless operators. Alvelda said the company had to prove that its service would in no way jeopardize existing services and that the MobiTV service would serve as an additional revenue stream. "For us to be able to launch the service at all, we had to prove unequivocally to every carrier that the service would be profitable, that it would not harm their network. We took great pains over the last five years developing the technology to ensure there was no opportunity at all for network overload and in fact there’s every provision to be able to monitor the service in detail in terms of ongoing profitability and revenue generation. And so far every carrier we’ve launched on has gotten behind it and pushed full force," he said.