Europe officially chooses DVB-H for mobile TV

Europe officially chooses DVB-H for mobile TV

Member states told to free up spectrum and promote the technology

The European Commission has officially selected DVB-H as the mobile TV standard in Europe.

"EU member states endorsed the Commission's three-pillar strategy presented in July, putting in place a joint approach to licensing mobile TV to accelerate rollout of services and encourage innovative business models," the EU confirmed today.

All 27 member states will now be expected to support and encourage the technology, making spectrum available and promoting the use of DVB-H.

European Union commissioner Viviane Reding hinted in March that DVB-H would be chosen when she warned that Britain was backing the wrong technology in Virgin Mobile's DAB standard.

Reding formally announced in July that DVB-H would be used throughout Europe, subject to approval from the EC.

"Wait and see is not an option," she said in July. "The time has come for Europe's industry and governments to switch on to mobile TV."

Nokia, one of the founding developers DVB-H, formed the Mobile DTV Alliance in January 2006 with partners Intel, Modeo, Motorola and Texas Instruments.

Just a few months later, analyst firm Frost & Sullivan predicted that the technology would eventually be adopted in Europe.

BT and Virgin Mobile shut down their DAB mobile TV trial when it became obvious that Europe was backing Nokia's rival technology.

However, a DVB-H service had previously been tested in the UK when O2 ran trials in Oxford in September 2005.

Analyst firm Strategy Analytics predicted that sales of TV phones will surpass traditional televisions within the next five years, reaching revenues of $30bn by 2010.