Shades of the all-GSM mandate for EU cellular telephony. Looks like this time around, there's opposition to this single standard idea. Bert ------------------------------------------------------- http://www.digitaltvdesignline.com/news/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=A0Z G2CK0BIVACQSNDLRCKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=198100246 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 unbelievable." 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 reserved ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.