T-Mobile mulls German mobile TV launch, as DMB makes strides

Having seen the collapse of two previous attempts to launch mobile TV in Germany, T-Mobile has indicated that it is studying "all possibilities" concerning starting its own service next year based upon the DVB-H standard.

The company is reported to be negotiating with Mobile Broadcasting to build a network of DVB-H transmitters--T-Mobile is not allowed to own a German DVB-H licence itself--before unveiling its ‘Handy TV' service. The impetus behind T-Mobile's potential involvement in this troubled sector is its ownership of the mobile TV rights for the German football Bundesliga. The company currently distributes this content via its own UMTS network, which it probably wants to use for more valuable data traffic than mobile TV.

While previous DVB-H services have failed in Germany, the International DMB Advancement Group (IDAG) claims it now has 13 broadcasters in 11 European and Asian countries committed to the DMB-based mobile TV service branded MiniTV.

A service has already been launched in Norway, where six TV channels and 15 radio channels are broadcasting free-to-air. In The Netherlands, the Mobiele TV Nederland company has conducted test transmissions and will launch regular broadcasts in 2010.

IDAG says it is currently in talks with major handset manufacturers, mobile operators and payment service technology vendors to enhance the current free-to-air services and increase the number of offerings available.

Other European IDAG members include Radio Telefis Eireann/RTE (Ireland), Radio Wroclaw (Poland), RAI Way (Italy), RTL (France), RTL 102,5 (Italy), Schweizer Radio/DRS (Switzerland), The Technology Partnership/TTP (UK) and World Family of Radio Maria (Italy).

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