Spain to end mobile TV, while UK survey shows significant potential

The Spanish government has stated it will reassign the mobile terrestrial TV frequencies to other services unless demand increases. Bernardo Lorenzo, director general of telecommunications, Ministry of Industry, said that mobile TV services lacked the "appropriate business model" to achieve success.

This move follows a catalogue of failures to make mobile TV a viable business in Europe. DVB-H platforms in Switzerland, Germany and France have each closed or failed to launch their services, with blame being attributed to the DVB-H standard having inadequate support from device vendors.

Meanwhile, a survey sponsored by Telegent Systems claims there is significant potential for free-to-air mobile TV services in the UK.

Samuel Sheng, president and CEO of Telegent, said that the availability of mobile TV in the European market contrasted sharply with those in Africa, Asia and Latin America where it was proving extremely popular.

Telegent, which develops TV receiver chipsets for portable devices, claimed that nearly 60 per cent of the British online research sample identified at least one environment, such as while on a train, queuing or at work, in which they would be likely to use a free-to-air mobile TV service. This potential magnifies among the younger demographic groups--80 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 76 per cent of 25-34 year olds.

"To date European operators and consumers have been understandably held back by regulatory and standards confusion, unproven technologies and the costs associated with building and operating mobile specific TV platforms," said Sheng. "All of these issues can be avoided by using the existing broadcast TV infrastructure and building the receiver technology into the handset."

For more on this story:
- read Broadcast Engineering & DesignTaxi

Related stories:
Virgin Mobile France to launch Mobile TV next year
BBC calls halt to live mobile TV plan; lack of user interest blamed
T-Mobile mulls German mobile TV launch, as DMB makes strides
European mobile TV still breathing, but only just