Not news to anyone reading us over the last couple of weeks, but it has become official: EU has urged the 27 national governments part of the union to take up DVB-H as the single standard for mobile TV. We detailed the controversies yesterday. The EU said next year would be crucial in the growth of mobile TV, with Beijing Olympics and the European Football Championship.
It said choosing one standard would “promote consensus” and stop market fragmentation. “Europe is today at a crossroads,” EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding said. “We can either take the lead globally — as we did for mobile telephony based on the GSM standard developed by the European industry — or allow other regions to take the lion’s share of the promising mobile TV market. Wait-and-see is not an option.” Here’s my small point: why would other countries outside EU take share of the mobile TV market in EU? I think the market’s too early for standards to be mandated/force-fed.
Reuters: Qualcomm’s VP for business development in charge of the company’s MediaFlo technology said the industry had been held up by the allocation of radio frequencies rather than by the lack of a single standard. “I am baffled by this (decision),” Omar Javaid told Reuters. “Fundamentally, the real issue is not which standard the European Commission is backing — spectrum is really what is preventing commercial launches.”
This 10-page PDF has a lot more details on why EU adopted DVB-H: “It would give all actors in the mobile TV value chain – equipment manufacturers, application developers, broadcasters, content aggregators, mobile operators – certainty concerning technological decisions. Only a predictable environment can lead to investment in equipment production and development of services and thus help to achieve the economies of scale that are needed to launch the services. Availability of equipment and services and decreasing prices will stimulate demand, which in turn will help to attain critical mass, ensuring the sustainability of the Mobile TV business cases.”