European telecommunications commissioner Viviane Reding has called on Europe's mobile operators to choose a standard for broadcast mobile television by this summer at the latest, or face one being imposed on the industry by Brussels. And Reding made clear her preference for that standard: DVB-H, developed with €40m of EC research funding.
Reding told the CeBIT high-tech fair in Hanover she was "disappointed by the lack of progress made so far" in agreeing a Europe-wide standard. "To fully reap the benefits of this market and to export a European model for mobile TV as we did with GSM for mobile phones, industry and member states must work more closely together to devise a common approach.
"European industry has already developed successful standards in the past and I am very confident that on the basis of DVB-H, mobile TV services can develop the economies of scale they need for take-up across Europe and around the world," said Reding. "In the end I could mandate the standard but I do not want to do that," she added.
Reding's threat was attacked by the WorldDMB forum, a trade body promoting rival DAB/DMB technology. In a statement the WorldDMB Forum said Reding had ignored the advice of the European Mobile Broadcasting Council (EMBC), whose report, presented at CeBIT had concluded "there is no urgent need for specific new EU regulation to foster the introduction and development of mobile broadcasting". Instead, the market should be allowed which technologies are best suited for broadcasting television, radio and data to mobile devices in Europe.
WorldDMB president Quentin Howard said: "It is ridiculous for the Commission to think that only one system can work everywhere! Each country has its own unique requirements and market conditions and the Commissioner's preference for one solution suggests she has failed to grasp that mobile operators and broadcasters need flexibility to develop different business models."
Lovelace Consulting | 19.03.2007