Monday, 13 October 2008 
Imposing technology standards will threaten success of Mobile TV in Europe, warns UMTS Forum PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
Responding to EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding’s statements at the CeBIT trade fair in Hannover and last month’s EICTA General Assembly, the UMTS Forum – through its Joint UMTS Forum and GSM Association Mobile TV Group – has offered a series of Recommendations to the EC for the rollout of Mobile TV across the European Union.

The communication recommends what actions (see below) must be taken before Mobile TV can be deployed in Europe. After studying and comparing a number of potential solutions – as detailed in its first White paper issued in November 2006 – the Joint Group maintains a technologically neutral position. However it emphasizes that success depends on an enabling economic and regulatory ecosystem.

“The European Commission should be creating an environment where Mobile TV can flourish in all EU member states”, says Bosco Fernandes, Chair of the Joint Group.

The Joint Group argues that there will be several co-existent standards and solutions for Mobile TV. Customers, however, will not be interested in the underlying technology as long as they can enjoy a compelling user experience that is affordable with handset pricing comparable to 3G/UMTS phones.

“There are other ways of accomplishing interoperability, and Mobile TV is not the same as classical TV”, notes Fernandes. In its Recommendations, the Joint Group looks to the Commission to create a regulatory environment that minimises technical and commercial barriers for industry players across EU member states.

The UMTS Forum expects that the European Commission will take these recommendations into consideration when issuing its forthcoming communication to EU Member states.

UMTS FORUM – KEY RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE EC ON MOBILE TV

  • Let market actors decide on the rollout of mobile TV standards
  • Ensure relevant stakeholders respect the Fair Reasonable and Non- Discriminatory (FRAND) principles and obligations and urgently establish a global IPR policy regarding mobile TV standards.
  • Encourage Industry and Standards Bodies to define a minimum common set of features for the Electronic Service Guide (ESG) to be implemented in the handsets to enable interoperability across mobile TV standards as well as member states.
  • Call on industry and standards bodies to harmonise for an access agnostic mobile TV service experience
  • Call on the industry and standards bodies to standardise the mobile device part of Conditional Access and DRM to be deployed in all devices to achieve interoperability and economies of scale.
  • Ensure mobile TV enabled terminal manufacturers fully comply with SIM Security and Authentication principles as implemented in GSM and 3G terminals.
  • Insist on urgent common agreement in CEPT/ECC TG4 on identification of harmonised sub-bands within the UHF band, as well as adoption of the appropriate technical measures to be taken for the digital dividend the latest by June 2007.
  • Ensure that part of the ‘digital dividend’ from switchover to digital TV broadcasting is made available for mobile services in all member states.
  • Advise Member States to release a minimum of one MUX (i.e. 8 MHz) of UHF spectrum (470 – 862 MHz band) for mobile TV broadcasting with immediate effect and to set explicit goals for the release of additional UHF spectrum several years before analogue switch-off.
  • Call on Governments and regulators immediately to publish a roadmap for the allocation of spectrum and appropriate licensing procedures to enable the mass market commercialisation of mobile TV services in the next few years.
  • Call on Governments and regulators to look favourably on measures to utilise existing spectrum assets such as 1.9 GHz UMTS TDD spectrum and 2 GHz MSS spectrum where market actors desire to do this in support of mobile TV applications.
  • Advise regulators that mobile TV as well as all other mobile multimedia services are exempted from specific broadcasting regulation.
  • Advise regulators that mobile TV enabled devices should not be subject to any license or other fees to enable free circulation of devices.
  • Advise regulators to refrain from including minimum population coverage obligations in their mobile broadcast TV licenses.
  • Advise regulators that mobile TV license conditions should stimulate a prosperous growth of mobile TV to ensure sustainable business models.
  • Make necessary arrangements regarding copy right regulation to enable users to watch the same TV content while they are roaming abroad as they are able to see in their home country.
  • Advise Member States that in the case of subsidisation by a state, fixed and mobile TV broadcasting networks should be treated similarly.
 
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