Though initially sold on the back of cheaper voice calls, it could be TV and video services that drive adoption of 3G services, a report claims.

Analyst firm Analsys reports a strong latent demand for TV and video content over mobile phone networks, citing consumer research and the rapid take-up of early 3G services. The analysts add that 3G networks will have to find ways to integrate 3G and broadcast technologies in order to make such services move from short movie clips to full TV/video streaming.

Report co-author Alastair Brydon said: "The results of consumer studies and the rapid take-up of 3G TV and video services in some countries suggest strong latent demand for consuming this type of content over mobile networks.

"By focusing strongly on mobile TV and video on demand, South Korean operators have already managed to achieve nearly three times the 3G penetration of Japanese operators, despite the later launch of their services.”

“TV and video can make or break 3G,” observed co-author Mark Heath. “The challenge is to offer compelling services that balance affordability for mobile users with profitability for operators.”

There is some way to go to deliver these services. At current prices, a two-hour movie, transmitted at 384kbit/s, would consume over 300MB of data and operators would have to charge over £200 if they wanted to achieve similar margins to voice telephony,” the analysts observed.