BNetzA taking bids for DVB-H frequencies

30 Apr 2007

The German regulator, BNetzA, is taking bids from companies seeking frequencies to provide broadcast mobile TV service based on the DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld) standard. Under a plan announced last week, DVB-H service should be available in the capital cities of all 16 German states by 2008 and be extended to cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants beginning in 2009. The announcement comes after a long tug-of-war in Germany, Europe’s largest media market, over broadcast mobile TV standards. Last year, state broadcasting authorities began issuing licenses for the rival DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting), largely because spectrum was available. But the country’s mobile phone operators have demanded that spectrum be made available for DVB-H, a technology they support because of its much larger capacity — up to 50 channels compared with DMB’s five. Back in March 2007, the ever sabre-rattling EU telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding threatened that regulations would be imposed if member states continued to wrangle over a common standard for broadcast mobile TV service. She said she would give member states until ‘this summer’ to accept DVB-H, so that manufacturers and operators would have sufficient time to launch products and services ahead of the Euro 2008 football tournament to be held in Switzerland and Austria in June next year.