Brussels Wants Single Mobile TV Standard

The European Commission calls for standardization by the mobile industry to ensure that consumers quickly adopt the technology

The EC has recommended the industry pick a single mobile TV standard - or risk holding back adoption of the tech.

EC information society and media commissioner, Viviane Reding, said the countries within the European Union need to work together on mobile TV, rather than all pursuing their own strategies on the fourth screen.

Reding said in a statement: "I am disappointed about the lack of progress made so far... Member states must work more closely together to devise a common approach, compare technologies, look at possible legal obstacles, make spectrum available throughout Europe and choose together the best way to ensure a quick and large take-up of mobile TV by Europeans, preferably based on a single standard."

Despite the importance of standardisation, the Commission has acknowledged that getting an industry-wide agreement on which mobile TV standard to settle on is unlikely to happen.

The EC has put €40m into mobile telly-related research and has come out plumping for DVB-H as its favourite. The DVB-H standard is backed by Nokia and has been trialled in the UK by O2. It's not the only standard that has been used in Blighty: BT has chosen DAB-IP for its Movio service and Sky has dabbled with Qualcomm's MediaFLO.

The Commission was also at pains to recognise its own role in encouraging consumers to adopt mobile TV, saying that light regulation will be necessary for the European mobile TV market to grow.

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