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Brussels, 31 August 2007

Commission welcomes Uruguay's decision to join European digital TV standard

The Commission welcomes Uruguay's selection of the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) standards for its digital terrestrial and mobile TV. The terrestrial DVB standard, DVB-T, has already been adopted in Europe and by over 100 countries worldwide and DVB-H is the standard preferred by the Commission for mobile TV. This decision will support the long term partnership that the EU wishes to develop with Uruguay and the rest of Latin America to exploit the potential of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to foster economic growth, social cohesion, competitiveness and cultural exchanges with Europe. Other countries in the region are expected to decide in the coming months and are now in a position to contribute to join this movement towards creating a truly global standard.

"I welcome Uruguay's choosing the DVB standards, the first Latin American country to select the European standard. I trust that other countries in the region will follow soon," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "Digital TV is an opportunity for Uruguay and other Latin American countries to participate actively in the digital economy, by exploiting their potential to develop interactive content and products. The decisions that Latin American countries will take regarding the standard and the regulatory model for digital terrestrial and mobile TV will be important in this exciting growth area of the economy and to take advantage of the socio-economic potential offered by the ICT convergence."

The benefits brought by DVB-T, an open and global standard, are many and were decisive for the Uruguayan choice. DVB-T offers low prices due to economies of scale, social inclusiveness, flexibility to fulfil public and private interests, lower royalties, greater variety of content from more channels, export possibilities and greater security due to the high number of countries which have already adopted this standard.

In July, the Commission encouraged Member States and industry to use DVB-H, DVB-T's sister standard, as the single European standard for mobile TV (see IP/07/1118).

In 2006, Commissioner Reding visited South America, accompanied by a high-level delegation of representatives of major European companies, to confirm their commitment to invest and to support the development of digital TV, as well as to explore the possibilities for cooperation related to digital TV and to the broader Information Society.

Background information on digital TV standards:

EU-funded research has been instrumental in developing and validating the DVB standards. DVB-T is an open standard developed by the open DVB Consortium with the participation of over 250 entities from all parts of the world. It is part of a family of interoperable standards that dominate digital broadcasting around the world, together with DVB-S for digital satellite TV, DVB-C for digital cable TV and DVB-H for mobile TV. DVB-T has already been adopted by over 100 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and now in Latin America, and is becoming a global standard, as it has been the case with the GSM standard for mobile communications.

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