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Strengthening the internal market for mobile TV

2008 will be a crucial year for the expansion of mobile TV in the European Union (EU). The Commission encourages the deployment of this new platform. It reports on the keys to success in getting consumers and operators to adopt mobile TV.

ACT

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 18 July 2007 - Strengthening the Internal Market for Mobile TV [COM(2007) 409 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

Mobile TV involves transmission of audiovisual content to a mobile device, usually a mobile telephone. It offers the possibility of viewing any content at any time. This platform brings together the dynamic character of telecommunications and the diversity of the audiovisual world.

Mobile TV is considered as an innovative and essential service. This platform could represent a market worth approximately EUR 20 billion by 2015 and reach between 200 and 500 million consumers worldwide.

The Commission invites all Member States and stakeholders to coordinate their efforts and speed up deployment of mobile TV throughout Europe to avoid losing its competitive edge in mobile services.

Keys to the success of mobile TV

The success of this new platform is mainly dependent on three factors:

  • technical aspects. The DVB-H * standard is presented as the most suitable technology. The Commission encourages the use of a common technical standard by registering the DVB-H in the list of European Union (EU) standards. Once it has been published in the Official Journal, the Member States will be legally obliged to promote and encourage use of the DVB-H standard, without, however, prohibiting the use of other standards. Companies are invited to ensure effective interoperability * by promoting consensus on the common use of DVB-H;
  • creation of a coherent regulatory environment. The Member States do not apply the same rules on mobile TV licensing. The Commission wishes to remove legal barriers by creating a coherent regulatory environment applicable to all EU licensing schemes;
  • access to radio spectrum. Mobile TV is likely to benefit from the digital dividend. For this reason, it is necessary to guarantee a quality spectrum by coordinating frequency allocation.

Successful adoption of mobile TV also depends on content availability. Mobile TV not only makes it possible to watch TV on mobile devices, but also provides the opportunity to access on-demand audiovisual services. These new possibilities also require a new approach to copyright as highlighted by the Commission Communication on content on-line.

Background

This new platform is an example of digital convergence supported by the i2010 initiative. The development of the mobile TV market contributes to EU competitiveness and European welfare in accordance with the objectives of the renewed Lisbon Growth and Jobs Strategy.

Key terms of the Act
  • DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld): broadcasting system for digital video derived from the digital terrestrial television standard, optimised for mobile terminals. DVB corresponds to an industrial consortium recognised by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) which develops digital video broadcasting standards. These different broadcasting standards correspond to DVB-C (cable), DVB-S (satellite) and DVB-T or DTT (terrestrial). These standards are very widely used in Europe.
  • Interoperability: the ability of two systems to understand each other and work in synergy.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Decision 2007/176/EC of 11 December 2006 establishing a list of standards and/or specifications for electronic communications networks, services and associated facilities and services and replacing all previous versions [Official Journal L 86, 27.3.2007].
This list is drawn up according to certain criteria laid down in cooperation with the Member States. Its content aims to encourage the harmonised provision of electronic communications networks, electronic communications services and associated facilities and services.

Last updated: 17.05.2011
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