The impending switchover to all-digital broadcast TV will present major opportunities for the mobile TV market in the US and elsewhere, which will garner more than half-a-billion viewers by 2013, says a new study from ABI Research.

According to the market researcher, both traditional and mobile TV broadcasters and mobile operators in many regions around the world will launch mobile TV services once the switchover to digital has occurred.

“Mobile TV users have yet to value the medium properly because it has not been validated as an independent product and service,” noted ABI senior analyst Jeff Orr. “It has been primarily offered at the end of a long list of more preferred cellular services. However, Mobile TV will soon be positioned in a more proper role as an extension of traditional broadcast TV services.”

Orr stresses that mobile TV services won’t be limited just to cell phones, but will also be viewed on MIDs and in-vehicle entertainment systems. He also forecasts that the increased content and services may drive the development of “more classes of mobile devices that are ‘natural fits’ for mobile entertainment.”