updated 02:20 pm EDT, Mon March 17, 2008
Europe DVB-H Standard
The European Commission today said it would make DVB-H an official standard for mobile TV on the continent. Previously ratified late last year, the decision asks any European Union country to push the Nokia-made standard above others as the primary choice for digital, over-the-air TV for cellphones and other devices that can pick up the handheld standard. Officials say the decision was made in part because DVB-H has the strongest presence in Europe and is already in service in Italy, where rival standards are currently limited to tests. Allowing multiple standards to float around the market would only hurt business, the Commission explains.
"For Mobile TV to take off in Europe, there must first be certainty about the technology," says the EC's Information Society Commissioner, Viviane Reding.
Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK have previously objected to setting a single standard, arguing that countries should be free to choose the standard that works best for their networks. However, the UK and some other countries already use the fixed DVB-T standard for wireless TV with set-top boxes.
The expansion comes just ahead of soccer (football) championships that are expected to jumpstart interest in mobile TV but will also segregate the European TV business from North America and other regions. In the US, the only mobile TV format in widespread use is MediaFLO, which is used by Verizon's V CAST TV and will be used by AT&T soon.