EC tax threatens success of mobile TV uptake

Despite having recently called for the EU countries to work together to support the DVB-H mobile TV standard, the European Commission has announced proposals to introduce a 14 per cent customs tax on the import of mobile TV-enabled handsets.

This move has been is strongly criticised by the Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum (BCMF) as putting at risk the development of mobile TV into a mass-market service. BMCF chairman, Franklin Selgert said: "The BMCF members are surprised by the non-harmonised approach of the EC regarding the development of mobile TV - fostering it on the one hand and setting barriers to its adoption on the other."

The tax would be levied on high-end mobile TV cellphones not built within the EU, as well as components produced outside the EU and then used to manufacturer mobile TV-enabled handsets in the EU. The apparent reason for this new tax, according to the EC, is driven by its intention to reclassify certain mobile handsets as 'multi-functional devices', which would incur additional taxes on phones with TV receivers.

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