Television may soon be coming to a handset near you.

While mobile broadcast TV was pioneered in Japan and South Korea, following the switchover to all-digital TV, traditional and mobile TV broadcasters in many regions will launch mobile TV services that are forecast to attract over 500 million viewers by 2013, according to new research.

There's a distinction between content streamed to mobile handsets over cellular networks, and free-to-air broadcasting to mobile devices equipped with mobile TV tuners, however.

Mobile TV users have yet to value the medium properly because it has not been validated as an independent product and service, says 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.

Mobile TV viewing will not solely be on cellular handsets, but also on MIDs,and automotive infotainment systems.

I believe that once the content is available and the services launched, mobile TV will enable more classes of mobile devices that are 'natural fits' for mobile entertainment, or says.