Monday, December 13, 2004

ETSI adopt DVB-H standard

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is to adopt the DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast - Handheld) standard for mobile TV services. (See official deliverable.)

Nokia have issued a press release welcoming this news and promising handsets by 2006.

This could slow the rate of 3G adoption. For example, 3G services currently offer the download of all the goals scored in the Premier League at an expensive per-MB download rate (roughly £1 per minute). O2 are already planning to use DVB-H next year despite having paid £4-billion for their 3G license. It is likely that they'll be offering a service around £8 per month for 16 channels. Premium content is likely to cost more, and is likely to be offered on a pay-per-view basis. Assuming they price this right, it will be difficult to imagine anyone prepared to pay to download a few 10 second clips of the top goals through the expensive mobile network when they can watch the entire match.

The UK is likely to be a good match for DVB-H transmissions since it is based on the system used to transmit the Freeview digital TV service.

For more information see this New Scientist article and this article from Wireless Week. Note the incredible bargain Crown Castle's 5MHz US spectrum deal could be in the future.

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