The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has approved the revision of the DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) standard, paving the way for the launch of the UK’s first mobile TV services. The changes allow mobile TV and virtually any other content to be broadcast reliably using internet based technologies, including a capability for DAB-IP services. The move has been welcomed by UK incumbent BT, which is has chosen to launch its mobile TV service BT Movio via a DAB-IP based platform. MVNO Virgin Mobile intends to launch the country’s first DAB-IP services commercially later this summer, using a rebranded version of BT Movio, with the incumbent telco’s own service following shortly afterwards.
DAB-IP is currently the leading standard for commercial IP-based mobile broadcast in the UK, as the spectrum needed for rival standard DVB-H, which can supply a greater range of channels, is not yet available. O2 UK trialled a mobile TV service based on DVB-H in Oxford last year, whilst pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB is currently testing Qualcomm’s MediaFLO digital mobile TV technology.