The take up of Mobile TV has been pretty slow at best so the European Commission has stepped in to speed things up.
This week the international body formally endorsed DVB-H as the primary format for all mobile broadcasts meaning networks and handset makers can finally move forward with confidence and throw their collective weight behind content that will spark user interest. Think of it like HD DVD or Blu-ray finally winning out...
Telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding has called for all EU member states to deliver services using DVB-H "as quickly as possible" too, heartening though odd as it is normally consumers who decide a format war – not governing bodies. "Wait-and-see is not an option. The time has come for Europe's industry and governments to switch on to mobile TV," she added in slightly despotic tones.
Perhaps the outcome isn't that surprising however since the EC did invest £27m in the development of DVB-H. Again I am forced to draw the comparison with HD DVD and Blu-ray: wouldn't Toshiba be a bit miffed if Sony has been backed and funded by the EU?!
So while it is good to see a conclusion to the latest standards impasse it is a little fishy and it won't be the end of the problems since DVB-H is particularly unfriendly to international roaming (not that global language barriers make it an ideal candidate for cross-country use anyway).
Still with a market anticipated to be worth up to £13.5bn by 2011 the still currently niche mobile TV sector has had an EC kick in the pants and while I'm not in favour of the EC jumping in again on other format wars, in this instance, I can't wait to see the benefits...