Reding seeks to boost mobile TV

The European Commission is set to present a new guidelines aimed at paving the way for the spread of mobile television in Europe “within a few weeks,” EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding has said. She gave positive signals on advertising on mobile handsets, but warned of dangers regarding invasion of privacy.

Brussels pushed European industry to seize the opportunity presented last summer by the Olympic Games in China and the European Football Championships to launch new national mobile television services.

Expectations were high, because Europe’s average penetration rate of mobile phones is 111% and the television market grows exponentially during important sports events. Yet, the new services were not widely taken up by European users. “The industry was not ready,” commented Commissioner Reding.

At the moment, mobile TV services based on the Commission-backed standard DVB-H are only in place in Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland. France and Finland are expected to be the next to launch new services.

To help the spread of mobile television across Europe, the Commission will present a communication “within a few weeks,” said the commissioner. The initiative plans to give clear guidelines to the industries involved in the business, she explained. It will also try to facilitate collaboration among broadcasters and telecom operators to ease them out of the conflict that has been a feature of dialogue so far.

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