Trials recommend there is a yearnings for taking pleasure in TELEVISION on mobiles Ms Reding cautioned at the start of the year that Europe risked of losing an opportunity to be a worldwide player in the growing mobile TELEVISION market.
DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting for Handhelds) has actually been identified by the EU as “the greatest competitor for future mobile TV”.
It was developed with almost 40m euros ($53m, ₤ 27m) of EC research study money and has actually so far been trialled or presented in eighteen European nations.
Utilizing the DVB-H requirement will be “lawfully urged” amongst all 27 member states with the view to mandating usage, if required, next year, specified Ms Reding.
The option is considered as a way of speeding up the rollout of services, which the EC believes might reach some 500 million clients around the world by 2011.
While South Korea, the world’s most sophisticated market for mobile TV, has 10% of the population using TV-enabled handsets, in Italy, the EU’s most innovative market, less than 1% have them.
Ms Reding figured out 2008, with important sporting events such as the European Football Championship and the summer season Olympics, as a necessary year for mobile TELEVISION take-up.
MOBILE TELEVISION STANDARDS DVB-H(Digital Video Broadcasting for Handhelds)-readily available in Europe, United States, South Africa and Asia
S-DMB (Satellite Digital Multimedia Broadcast) – South Korea, Japan
STIMI (Satellite Terrestial Interactive Multiservice Infrastructure) – China
MediaFLO – introduced in United States, trialled in UK and Germany
ISDB-T (Integrated Service Digital Broadcasting) – Japan
T-DMB (Terrestial Digital Mulitmedia Broadcast) – South Korea, Germany
DAB-IP (Digital Audio Broadcast) – UK
There are currently around 7 requirements for mobile TELEVISION. DMB is commonly utilized in South Korea, while Qualcomm in the US is depending on the MediaFLO requirement that it established itself. In the UK, Virgin Mobile is presently providing TELEVISION services based upon DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), a technology more normally associated with digital radio.
David McQueen, primary expert with research company Informa, is not surprised that the EU has really come down in favour of DVB-H.
“It is the most open standard and there are more players in the market. Finland has networks already and in France there is a satellite hybrid solution,” he stated.
But for the UK the choice to plump for DVB-H might be frustrating given that it relies on freeing up parts of the radio spectrum.
The UHF band, which is identified by the EC as the most appropriate spectrum for multimedia mobile services, is not likely to be optimized in the UK up until digital switch-over is overall in 2012.
“A great deal of European nations are moving towards designating spectrum nevertheless one abnormality is the UK,” said Mr McQueen.
Mike Short, vice-president of research and improvement at O2, thinks the transfer to back DVB-H could be early.
“It is a bit like advocating one particular currency to be used throughout Europe when not everybody has it,” he stated.
He is seeking explanation from Ofcom regarding what spectrum will be released and when.
“Ofcom’s dates doubt and, where they are clear, there is a various method or it runs out step with others,” he mentioned.
Ofcom mentioned that, far from running out step, the UK regulator is ahead of the game when it concerns dispersing spectrum for mobile TV services and other usages.
“A few of the spectrum will appear in late 2008 or early 2009. We consider that we are blazing a path in Europe in regards to developing new usages for the digital dividend spectrum,” stated an Ofcom spokesperson.
Another frequency band, the so-called L-band, which may likewise be utilized to supply mobile TV will be auctioned off in the UK at the end of this year, she said.
However, according to commissioner Reding’s report, this band requires to just be considered as a “fall-back” service.
Mr Short believes there requires to be a level-playing field throughout Europe.
“We want to see spectrum offered consistently and preferably at the very same time. This would use customers more handset option, the possibility to utilize them in more countries in addition to providing a more economical solution,” specified Mr Short.
As part of its declaration on mobile TELEVISION, the commissioner gotten in touch with member states to “make spectrum easily offered for mobile broadcasting as quickly as possible”.
Satellite broadcaster BSkyB has in fact been related to numerous trials of mobile TELEVISION technology, consisting of both DVB-H and a competing system MediaFLO.
It is uncertain that the choice about what requirement should be used ought to have been made by the EU.
“Our belief is that market is much better put than political leaders or regulators to pick winning innovations which service should be complimentary to select based upon their commercial requirements.
If there’s a barrier to the early pan-European implementation of broadcast mobile TV, it’s more to do with a lack of offered spectrum than an absence of standardised technology,” specified a Sky spokesman.
Informa’s McQueen is not amazed by commissioner Reding’s decision.
“It is no coincidence that GSM flew after a choice to introduce it throughout Europe, whereas the US suffered for having various innovations,” he said.