Friday, December 14, 2007

Nokia's Mobile Tv Technology Gets Semiofficial Status in Eu

BRUSSELS -(Dow Jones)- The European Commission Thursday suffered a setback in its attempts to advance Nokia Corp.'s DVB-H technology for mobile television as the single standard in Europe, after the member states' ministers concluded that it should not be a mandatory standard.

However, European Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding said she won enough backing to ensure it becomes the European mobile TV standard in any case.

The European telecommunication ministers said that although DVB-H had the "potential" to become the most common standard, it should be left to the market to decide which technology emerges in the end. The ministers also said that it was important for the commission to maintain "technology neutrality" for the time being.

However, the ministers welcomed the commission's plan to add the standard into its official list of standardsas a "non-mandatory standard" in order to speed up the adoption of Mobile TV - handsets offering television - in Europe.

The ministers also said that some steps could be taken to ensure both the interoperability of services and freedom of choice for users.

Reding said the inclusion of DVB-H technology in the official list in February would be enough to ensure its de facto position as the European mobile TV standard.

It means that "all 27 member states have to support and encourage" the adoption of the technology, thus avoiding market fragmentation and allowing economies of scale, the commission said.

The commission has backed the DVB-H standard as the "strongest contender" for future mobile television broadcasts, despite there being other options, partly because it is based on European technology with the support of E.U. funds.

Other technologies include Qualcomm's FLO platform, known as MediaFLO, which has gained ground in the USA, and ISDB-T technology, which is the standard in Japan and Brazil.

The global market for mobile TV could reach EUR20 billion by 2011, the commission predicts.

Naming a single standard is more common in Europe than the U.S, and is usually done to ensure interoperability across countries. However, when an industry is in its infancy, preferring one technology over another may come at a cost to innovation and consumer choice, onlookers said.

1 comment:

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