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DVB-H is Europe's mobile TV standard

Posted: 19 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DVB-H? telecommunications? mobile TV?

The European Commission (EC) has added the DVB-Handheld standard (DVB-H) to the European Union's list of standards that serve as the basis for encouraging the harmonized provision of telecommunications across the EU. The addition of DVB-H is a step towards establishing a single market for mobile TV in Europe. The mobile TV market is forecasted to reach about $32 billion by 2011, reaching some 500 million customers worldwide.

"For mobile TV to take off in Europe, there must first be certainty about the technology," said Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for information, society and media. The next steps for implementing the EU strategy on mobile broadcasting will include guidance on the authorisation regimes as well as the promotion of rights management systems based, as is DVB-H, on open standards.

Benefits of DVB-H
An EU-wide adoption of DVB-H will provide operators with the necessary market scale to launch mass mobile TV services across the EU. It will also benefit consumers, who will be able to watch TV on their cellphones or mobile devices at any time, anywhere across Europe.

After publication of the Commission decision in the EU List of Standards in the EU's Official Journal, Member States will be required to encourage the use of DVB-H. This clear support to the DVB family of standards is also an important signal given to countries about to take a decision on the technology for digital and mobile broadcasting, using DVB-T, DVB-H and DVB-SH.

DVB-H is currently already the most widely used standard for mobile TV in the EU. It is currently between trials and commercial launch in 16 countries. Commercial DVB-H services are already available in Italy, with further launches expected later this year notably in Finland, Austria, France, Switzerland and Spain.

IP rights concerns
A transparent intellectual property rights regime, based on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and allowing low price of devices, is key to the success of mobile TV. The Commission will therefore continue to closely monitor progress made towards the constitution of the DVB-H patent pool.

Efficient procedures for authorising mobile TV operators are essential for the fast take-up of the service. In February 2008, the Commission discussed best practice for mobile TV authorisation with industry and Member States, asking for contributions on the issue from all stakeholders. Guidelines on best practice are currently under preparation to help member states to deploy mobile TV without delay. Light-touch regulation and clear licensing regimes will give industry the legal certainty they need to launch their mobile TV services without undue impediments.

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