DVB-H to be EU mobile TV standard

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Thursday that it would set DVB-H as a single European Union standard for mobile television broadcasting by the end of February, but several EU states said they would try to oppose the move.

DVB-H, promoted by companies such as Nokia NOK1V.HE, is so far the only standard with a global presence, while South Korea, Japan, the United States and China are embracing local rivals, such as one set by Qualcomm QCOM.O.

“DVB-H will be published by the Commission in the list of official EU standards,” the EU’s executive said in a statement.

“As a result, all EU Member States will have to support and encourage the use of DVB-H for the launch of mobile TV services, thus avoiding market fragmentation and allowing economies of scale and accordingly affordable services and devices,” it said.

EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding told Reuters this was “the only way to go” to develop the fledgling industry, adding that once DVB-H is in the EU list it would de facto become the single standard for the EU.

A Commission official said countries opposed to the move -- led by Britain, Germany and the Netherlands -- would need to gather a majority of two thirds of the EU’s 27 states to block it when they meet to fine tune the decision. A British official said they would try to get that majority.

“It is premature to consider intervening in the market for mobile TV,” British Minister of State for Competitiveness Stephen Timms said in a statement. “All current competing standards should be listed (by the EU), not just DVB-H.”

EU telecoms ministers said in a statement on Thursday that the DVB-H norm should not be mandatory.

Editing by Will Waterman