Mobile 3.0 emerges as front-runner for DVB-H licence

17 Oct 2007

Mobile 3.0, a joint venture between German media companies Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland (MFD) and Neva Media, is likely to be awarded the licence to operate the platform for mobile television in DVB-H standard in Germany, according to Rapid TV News. A meeting of the media authorities concluded with Mobile 3.0 being selected as the applicant envisaged to be granted the concession. The company now has until 9 November to present a plan for the allocation of the available capacity to television broadcasters — including a regional offer — as well as for allocation of the four available radio slots. The federal authorities want to confirm that the allocation will be ‘diverse and non-discriminatory’ before issuing the actual licence.

A total of 29 applications were received in the tender for operating the DVB-H platform, which is due to launch in selected urban areas in time for the Euro 2008 football tournament next summer. Amongst the applicants was a consortium of mobile phone companies T-Mobile, Vodafone and O2, which was thought to be the strongest rival to Mobile 3.0. Neva Media is backed by publishing houses Hubert Burda Media and Holtzbrinck as well as media managers Paulus Neef, Bernd Curanz and Christiane zu Salm, amongst others. The biggest single shareholder of MFD is South African media and technology company Naspers, which has already established DVB-H broadcasting networks in several African countries. MFD has operated a DMB mobile TV package under the ‘watcha’ brand in since June 2006. Watcha is currently available in 16 cities.

The transmitter network for DVB-H will be operated by T-Systems Media & Broadcast, a subsidiary of T-Systems, the business customer division of Deutsche Telekom. The company was allocated the frequencies by telecoms regulator Bundesnetzagentur earlier this week.