European Regulators Pick Nokia's DVB-H Mobile TV Standard

The decision, which may require additional approvals, strengthens the move to the Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld standard, which also has strong support in the U.S.

The European Union has picked Nokia's DVB-H standard for mobile TV broadcasting in European nations, according to media reports from Brussels Tuesday.

The decision, which may require additional approvals, strengthens the move to DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld), which also has strong support in the United States.

The decision is a blow to Qualcomm, which has been promoting its MediaFlo mobile TV technology, and South Korean manufacturers, which have been pushing their T-DMB technology. The EU's regulatory agency -- the European Commission -- favors a single standard, while other nations and regional alliances seem to favor a multi-standard approach to deliver mobile TV.

"I know that competition among different standards can, for some time, be a good way to let the market identify the best solution," EC telecommunications regulator Viviane Reding told an industry conference. "But we have been waiting too long. The opportunities are slipping away. It is time to break the deadlock."

She added that she favors the DVB-H standard because it's based on and partially financed by European interests.

European firms have noted the success of a similar single standard established and financed by European interests -- the GSM mobile phone standard. GSM is the world's dominant cell phone standard and is the standard used in the United States by AT&T Cingular and T-Mobile.

The European Commission is scheduled to publish the DVB-H standard in mid-July.

The situation is different in Asia, where spectrum is much more plentiful. According to the Reuters news service Tuesday, commercial DVB-H broadcasts have already begun in India and Vietnam, while other Asian countries are close to starting DVB-H broadcasting or implementing their own mobile TV standards.

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