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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

EU views on Mobile TV... policy inconsistency?

Given it seems that the European Commission is moving (albeit slowly and without consensus so far) towards accepting "technology neutrality" for mobile spectrum, it seems a bit odd that Viviane Reding has stuck her oar in on the issue of mobile TV technology. It sounds like she's trying to encourage a decidely non-neutral approach with DVB-H as the favoured technology.

I wonder if she has her facts straight about the likely impact (and timelines) of mobile TV. I haven't got a copy of the source document, but if its an accurate representation, this line in the article raises some doubts "The commission estimates that mobile TV will generate EUR11.4 billion in revenue globally in 2009, with around 50 million handsets able to receive a mobile TV service."

What, €228 mobile TV revenue per enabled handset per year? Nearly €20 per month? Assuming 100% take-up rate & loyalty among all owners? Yeah, right.

A quick word, Ms Reding - there's a couple of reasons why Europe is being "slow" on mobile TV. The first is the length of the spectrum allocation process in different countries. The second is the weakening evidence of workable business models. A decision on DVB-H vs. the rest is not the number one stumbling block at the moment, or in my view even necessary.

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