Brussels, 18 July 2007
Today, the Commission has adopted a strategy favouring the take-up of mobile TV across the 27 EU Member States. The Commission urges Member States and industry to facilitate and accelerate the deployment of mobile TV across Europe and to encourage the use of DVB-H as the single European standard for mobile TV.
"Mobile broadcasting is a tremendous opportunity for Europe to maintain and expand its leadership in mobile technology and audiovisual services," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media. "Europe is today at a crossroads. We can either take the lead globally – as we did for mobile telephony based on the GSM standard developed by the European industry – or allow other regions take the lion's share of the promising mobile TV market. 'Wait-and-see' is not an option. The time has come for Europe's industry and governments to switch on to mobile TV."
Until now, the introduction and take-up of mobile TV in the EU has been slow while Europe's competitors have progressed significantly. Unless Europe takes concrete action immediately, it risks losing its competitive edge. For example, the mobile TV penetration rate of South Korea, Asia's most developed mobile TV market, is close to 10%. Yet penetration in Italy, the EU's most advanced market, is still less than 1%.
The Commission is strongly committed to the success of mobile TV (see IP/07/340) which could be a market of up to €20 billion by 2011, reaching some 500 million customers worldwide. The Commission sees today's Communication on Strengthening the Internal Market for Mobile TV as crucial to create jobs and business opportunities for content creators, service providers and hardware manufacturers, and to bring new value-added services to citizens.
Three key success factors have been identified by the Commission for mobile TV take-up:
2008 is considered by the Commission as a crucial year for mobile TV take-up in the EU due to important sports events, such as the European Football Championship and the Summer Olympic Games, which will provide a unique opportunity for raising consumers' awareness and for the adoption of new services.
In March 2006 the Commission encouraged setting up a European Mobile
Broadcasting Council (EMBC) to promote mobile TV in Europe. It gathered players
from the telecommunications, hardware manufacturers and the software,
broadcasting and content industries. However, EMBC failed to agree on industry
led-solutions. This is why the Commission has now decided to intervene, and to
actively support the take-up of mobile TV in Europe.
See also MEMO/07/298