EU stands by choice of DVB-H for mobile TV

The European Union has defended its choice of the mobile TV standard DVB-H over other versions of the technology. It said governments are now required to promote it as operators start to offer broadcasts to mobile phones, an Associated Press report said. DVB-H, or Digital Video Broadcasting for Handhelds, is the most widely used mobile TV format in Europe and is supported by handset makers Nokia, Motorola, Philips, Sagem, Sony, Ericsson, Samsung and operators Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile.

The Associated Press report quoted the European Commission as saying that its decision ordering EU nations to give preference to DVB-H over rival standards, such as Qualcomm's MediaFLO and DMB which is favoured by Chinese and South Korean manufacturers, was necessary to create economies of scale and get the technology off the ground. The EU's executive is entitled to make decisions on some technical standards on behalf of national governments.

'They can do that by labelling, they can do that by promoting it in attributing licences and so on, radio frequencies decisions could be at issue,' said EU spokesman Martin Selmayr.

Selmayr also said the European Commission believed it important to throw its weight behind DVB-H to end a possible war on standards that could hold back mobile broadcasting, claiming the market had already picked the format.