EU decides on mobile TV standard

EU decides on mobile TV standard

DVB-H is endorsed

The European Union (EU) has agreed that the official mobile TV standard for Europe will be DVB-H.

The news will come as a blow to rival standards, such as Qualcomm's MediaFLO and Far Eastern manufacturers backing DMB. But it will not be a surprise, since it is be far the most dominant technology in Europe and is supported by Nokia, Motorola, Philips, Sagem, Sony, Ericsson, Samsung and operators Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile.

"For Mobile TV to take off in Europe, there must first be certainty about the technology. This is why I am glad that with today's decision, taken by the Commission in close coordination with the Member States and the European Parliament, the EU endorse DVB-H as the preferred technology for terrestrial mobile broadcasting," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media.

Commercial DVB-H services are currently operating in Northern Italy and mobile TV channels will go live in Finland, Austria, France, Switzerland and Spain this year. Another 16 trials are also underway.

Reding also suggested that interoperability was going to be in important issue in the regulatory discussions to follow the announcement. Last month she hit Microsoft with a €899m fine for dragging its feet on promises to provide competitors with interoperability data.

"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," she said.