Spain's resurrects DVB-H

Iñaki Ferreras

After two years of uncertainty Spain's government announced a digital mux which will supply twenty mobile TV channels simultaneously on cell-phones. But there are still doubts over the business model.

The fact is that Spain's government has surprisingly resurrected the project to carry out a mobile TV service. The transmission model is based on a broadcasting type meaning the phones must include a special chip to receive the TV signal using the DVB-H European standard.

This way the phones will behave as miniature TV sets and depending on the signals coming from the conventional network. There's a big difference between the new transmission model and today's typical streaming technology. Streaming creates congestion in the telephony networks and consumes significant resources and bandwidth. DVB-H avoids these problems, but the business model has yet to be proven.

And it is the business model that Spain's concept must face. Various theories are being suggested: One sees a model based on advertising, and also with pay TV services. As for the telephony operators the three major players had reached an agreement that would have allowed a unified scheme. Now Spain has to decide which model will be adopted.