LONDON The head of the WorldDMB organization has made a scathing attack on EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, for rejecting out of hand all but the DVB-H version of mobile TV for use in Europe.
"It is ridiculous for the Commission to think that only one system can work everywhere! Each country has its own unique requirements and market conditions and the Commissioner's preference for one solution suggests she has failed to grasp that mobile operators and broadcasters need flexibility to develop different business models," said Quentin Howard.
He stressed it was vital for European industry that the market is not restricted to one specific technology but rather that it is able to use different systems tailored to each market. "Technology is a rapidly and continually evolving process and it would be damaging to Europe’s economy and its citizens for the Commission to mandate one standard," warned Howard.
Last week at the giant CeBIT fair in Hanover, Germany, Reding threatened to bring in regulation and enforce a single technology standard for mobile TV if member states failed to evolve a common standard.
"The industry should agree on one single standard. I believe this should be the DVB-H family of standards," said Reding at an EC convened conference on mobile TV at the trade fair. She went on to suggest that if the industry and member states failed to agree on one standard she would be forced to "intervene with regulatory measures."
Reding also upset the European Mobile Broadcasting Council (EMBC) and the majority of Europe’s broadcasters and telecoms operators, by what the EMBC says appears to be a solo decision in favor of DVB-H.
The EMBC, which includes every major mobile telecoms operator, broadcaster, network provider and technology manufacturer from the member states, has spent the past year studying the mobile technology market in Europe.
Its report, presented at the conference during CeBIT, concluded "there is no urgent need for specific new EU regulation to foster the introduction and development of mobile broadcasting." The report suggests the market should be allowed to decide for itself which technologies are best suited for broadcasting television, radio and data to mobile devices in Europe.
The Council recommended technology neutrality and said the Commission "should not favour any one technology over another."
The WorldDMB Forum suggested Europe’s telecoms companies and broadcasters were "stunned" when the Commissioner flew in the face of the Council’s report at the conference and defied her own policy of technology neutrality.