[opendtv] EU Commissioner slammed for stance on mobile TV

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 13:59:43 -0400

Shades of the all-GSM mandate for EU cellular telephony. Looks like this
time around, there's opposition to this single standard idea.



March 20, 2007

EU Commissioner slammed for stance on mobile TV

By John Walko

LONDON - The head of the WorldDMB organization has made a scathing
attack on EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane
Reding, for rejecting out of hand all but the DVB-H version of mobile TV
for use in Europe.

"It is ridiculous for the Commission to think that only one system can
work everywhere! Each country has its own unique requirements and market
conditions and the Commissioner's preference for one solution suggests
she has failed to grasp that mobile operators and broadcasters need
flexibility to develop different business models," said Quentin Howard.

He stressed it was vital for European industry that the market is not
restricted to one specific technology but rather that it is able to use
different systems tailored to each market. "Technology is a rapidly and
continually evolving process and it would be damaging to Europe's
economy and its citizens for the Commission to mandate one standard,"
warned Howard.

Last week at the giant CeBIT fair in Hanover, Germany, Reding threatened
to bring in regulation and enforce a single technology standard for
mobile TV if member states failed to evolve a common standard.

"The industry should agree on one single standard. I believe this should
be the DVB-H family of standards," said Reding at an EC convened
conference on mobile TV at the trade fair. She went on to suggest that
if the industry and member states failed to agree on one standard she
would be forced to "intervene with regulatory measures."

Reding also upset the European Mobile Broadcasting Council (EMBC) and
the majority of Europe's broadcasters and telecoms operators, by what
the EMBC says appears to be a solo decision in favor of DVB-H.

The EMBC, which includes every major mobile telecoms operator,
broadcaster, network provider and technology manufacturer from the
member states, has spent the past year studying the mobile technology
market in Europe.

Its report, presented at the conference during CeBIT, concluded "there
is no urgent need for specific new EU regulation to foster the
introduction and development of mobile broadcasting." The report
suggests the market should be allowed to decide for itself which
technologies are best suited for broadcasting television, radio and data
to mobile devices in Europe.

The Council recommended technology neutrality and said the Commission
"should not favour any one technology over another."

The WorldDMB Forum suggested Europe's telecoms companies and
broadcasters were "stunned" when the Commissioner flew in the face of
the Council's report at the conference and defied her own policy of
technology neutrality.

The Forum - which was set up to promote the awareness, adoption and
implementation of DAB/DMB worldwide using the Eureka 147 family of
standards - said it believes the Commissioner's stance is "dangerous and
detrimental to the future of mobile broadcasting in Europe."

It notes many European countries, including the U.K., Denmark,
Switzerland, Norway, Belgium, Germany and Spain have already deployed
portable and mobile broadcasting using DAB digital radio and DMB
(Digital Multimedia Broadcasting), "both of which are versions of a
family of compatible European standards originally developed by the
European-funded Eureka147 Project."

Mobile TV in the U.K. is delivered using DAB-IP, while in Germany the
DMB variant is the platform for its national mobile TV network. France
has just announced its intention to adopt DMB and other EU Member States
including Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Sweden are in trials or planning
to adopt the DAB/DMB standard.

"Madame Reding says she prefers a European technology for Europe and
cites interoperability as an important issue. I couldn't agree more,"
said Howard.

"DAB/DMB is a European technology whose development was funded by the
EU. This European system has been adopted by leading technology nations
including Korea and China. DMB is the world's most successful mobile TV
platform by an order of magnitude compared to DVB-H," he stresses.

"On interoperability, I am pleased to remind her that WorldDMB and the
DVB Forum are already working together to ensure that DAB/DMB and DVB-H2
(the next version of DVB-H) can be interoperable."

Howard noted that the availability of spectrum is key to the roll-out of
mobile TV and radio, and having a combination of DMB and DVB-H, for
example, means you can start mobile broadcasting now in most European
countries without the need for the Commission to do anything at all.
"For the Commissioner to sweep away all these issues, contradict her own
policy of neutrality and to ignore the recommendations of the EMBC is

The fact is that for many countries in Europe, the implementation of
DVB-H is years away due to unavailability of spectrum until analogue TV
is switched off. DAB/DMB, on the other hand, is ready to go, has
spectrum available, requires no new legislation or intervention by the
EC and has already seen significant business investment across the
continent and the world with over 400 different types of receiver
already available.

The Forum concludes that the Commissioner's statement merely undermine
all this, jeopardizes investments made by European broadcasters and
manufacturers in other technologies and contradicts everything the EMBC
advised. "Why, one wonders, is Commissioner Reding defying the wishes of
the European telecoms and broadcasting industry which is united in
calling for technology neutrality?"

All material on this site Copyright 2006 CMP Media LLC. All rights
You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts:

  • » [opendtv] EU Commissioner slammed for stance on mobile TV