Mobile TV Industry Asks EU For Guidelines (Read: Spectrum)


“Handset makers, telecoms operators and broadcasters asked the European Union on Thursday to set guidelines that should boost the emerging sector of mobile television on cellular phones and other portable devices.” The argument is that to get the economies of scale to make mobile TV commercially viable there needs to be a large deployment — or a large market for the goods to be manufactured before the launch dates. The main problem is spectrum — there isn’t any. Several industry players (Nokia was specifically mentioned) are urging authorities to “change the law and dedicate spectrum to digital services and force consumers onto the service”, although I assume (hope) that bit about forcing consumers is must miscommunication.
More reasonably, “the Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum urged the EU to use its powers to help establish a specific radio band for mobile TV services throughout Europe”.
Of course the problem with this is that different technologies use different spectrum bands, and although they can be changed that requires extra effort and cost. The European companies are likely to push spectrum that favors DVB-H, but there are operators planning on launching DAB/DMB services.
The upshot? If the EU decides to do nothing many European countries won’t have the spectrum available for the services until 2012, which is effectively a death-knell for the technology. If the EU decides to give spectrum to the mobile TV guys it will have to take it off someone else, who won’t be happy…

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