The European Commission has formally endorsed Nokia’s Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld (DVB-H) as Europe’s preferred technology for mobile television, hoping to kick start an industry and establish a unified market for mobile television applications throughout Europe.
“For Mobile TV to take off in Europe, there must first be certainty about the technology,” said EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, in a statement. “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.”
DVB-H is already being deployed in Europe, with 16 countries currently between trials and commercial launch of DVB-H services—operators are hopeful interest in this year’s European soccer championships and the Summer Olympics in Beijing will spark demand for mobile television service. Commercial services are already operating in Italy, with launched expected soon in Austria, Switzerland, Spain, and France, along with Nokia’s home country of Finland. DVB-H is also being rolled out in other nations, although Japan, South Korea, China, and the United States are variously betting on mobile television solutions from Nokia rival Qualcomm.
Some mobile operators say the EC has jumped the gun on adopting a standard, with some member nations (including Germany, Britain, and the Netherlands) expressing concern DVB-H may now actually be the best technology available, and that the market forces should ultimately decide what standard gets applied across the bloc of nations.