Commission issues mobile TV guidelines

The European Commission has issued a set of guidelines designed to give a much-needed boost to the take-up of Mobile TV services across the community.

Despite some high profile failures, such as the German Mobile 3.0, the Commission says that European countries are demonstrating an increasing consumer demand. Consequently it has published a list of official standards that includes the DVB-H technology designed for mobile reception.

“Successful commercial launches of mobile TV in Austria, Italy, Finland and the Netherlands have proved that efficient authorisation procedures are a key factor for the fast take-up of Mobile TV. In Austria, 5,000 citizens were using Mobile TV within the first weeks of its launch,” said Viviane Reding, EU Telecoms and Media Commissioner. “This is why we want to give Member States guidance on how to allow industry to get these innovative services on track as quickly and smoothly as possible. We stand for a collaborative approach between all actors involved including broadcasters, mobile operators and platforms operators, and we oppose heavy regulation or burdensome authorisation procedures for the introduction of Mobile TV in Europe.”

The Commission’s guidelines include reception quality to ensure both indoor and outdoor coverage and the recommendation to withdraw any licence where the service does not commence within a certain amount of time. The Commission also stresses the need to launch non-proprietary technologies to ensure all European services work together, bringing potential problems to the UK’s Ofcom, which has already auctioned off spectrum to US operator Qualcomm.