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Plans For Mobile TV Network In Europe Stall

A group ended its effort to launch a paid mobile TV service, while others are moving forward with a free service for handheld devices.

W. David Gardner

August 1, 2008

1 Min Read

Efforts in Europe to establish subscriber-paid mobile TV service were set back when a consortium in Germany decided to end plans to launch a DVB-H (handheld) network, according to published reports in Germany this week.

The collapse of the effort by Mobile 3.0 was attributed at least partially by the failure of established wireless service providers, which generally don't support paid TV, to support DVB-H. Most service providers support an alternate DVB-T (terrestrial) effort, which would transmit to wireless consumers free of charge.

Burda and Holtzbrink, both publishing houses, and South African media company Naspers have thrown in the towel and won't launch a DVB-H network in Europe, the reports said.

Their effort wasn't helped when service providers said they plan to introduce mobile TV devices that use the free DVB-T technology. Noting that subscribers aren't likely to favor the idea of paying for TV on top of their often hefty wireless charges, service provider Vodafone has said it favors a mobile TV strategy whereby consumers pay for add-on video services that are offered in conjunction with free mobile TV. Mobile 3.0 had planned to charge monthly fees of as much as $10 to $15.

The Mobile 3.0 group had begun testing a service with nine TV channels and three radio stations.

The German situation isn't likely to influence the delivery of mobile TV in the United States, which is still in its embryonic stage. To date, no major third-party providers of mobile TV have emerged in the United States.

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