Commission issues Mobile TV guidelines

The European Commission has taken a decisive step towards the promotion of competitive Mobile TV services in the EU. It has published a set of guidelines for the authorisation of Mobile TV to accelerate roll-out of the service across Europe. Mobile TV revenues worldwide are expected to reach more than E7.8 billion in 2013.

“Successful commercial launches of Mobile TV in Austria, Italy, Finland and the Netherlands have proved that efficient authorisation procedures are a key factor for the fast take-up of Mobile TV. In Austria, 5,000 citizens were using Mobile TV within the first weeks of its launch. With predicted growth in sales during the Christmas period, many more Europeans should have the opportunity to watch TV on the go”, said Viviane Reding, EU Telecoms and Media Commissioner.

“This is why we want to give Member States guidance on how to allow industry to get these innovative services on track as quickly and smoothly as possible. We stand for a collaborative approach between all actors involved including broadcasters, mobile operators and platforms operators, and we oppose heavy regulation or burdensome authorisation procedures for the introduction of Mobile TV in Europe.”

The Commission says the commercial services launched before summer 2008 in some European countries show that there is an increasing consumer demand: in the Netherlands alone, 10 000 users had already subscribed to the service at the beginning of autumn. Authorisations from Member States for Mobile TV services are needed before any commercial launches by operators. Along with the addition of the DVB-H standard to the EU list of official standards in March 2008, the EU says these guidelines underline the Commission’s strong commitment to the promotion of new services for European consumers.

In close cooperation with Member States and industry, the Commission has identified the main principles which regulators and governments in the Member States should follow when authorising operators to provide Mobile TV services. The Commission today published these principles in a new Communication that will help Member States to make Mobile TV a reality and success for operators and consumers without delay.

To date, only a few Member States, such as Austria, Finland, France and Germany have adopted legislation for new Mobile TV services. The Commission’s guidelines aim to keep up the momentum for Mobile TV at EU-level, in order to create a coherent and favourable regulatory environment for take-off and take-up of this new service

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