ComReg ditches mobile TV bid

Ireland’s regulator has called off attempts to sell spectrum for mobile TV services in major cities due to lack of operator interest.
Just one carrier – Vodafone – expressed tentative interest in acquiring spectrum in the 8MHz UHF band, with the country’s remaining carriers showing little enthusiasm for offering TV services in the first place, and even less in participating in an awards process, ComReg states.
The decision brings the curtain down on over two years work by the regulator to kick-start mobile TV services in the country, however ComReg said the door remains open for the sale of other suitable spectrum in future and hinted it could stipulate that carriers awarded UHF spectrum in the years ahead offer mobile TV services.
“Any future awards by ComReg of UHF spectrum on a service and technology neutral basis could facilitate deployment of Mobile TV services,” the regulator notes.
The lack of interest will come as something of a surprise to ComReg, after O2 and 3 conducted a series of trials of DVB-H technology in recent years, reports.
Carriers may have been swayed by the failure of services like Qualcomm’s FLO-TV service to gain traction – the firm recently sold its spectrum to AT&T -, and by growing competition from the likes of Google and Apple, which are pitching their own TV services.