The Hong Kong government will relax the rules on cross-media ownership to issue two mobile TV licences by the middle of next year with the aim of seeing services rolled out by the end of 2010, reports TheStandard.com.hk. Permanent Secretary for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEBD), Duncan Pescod, yesterday said the two licences, covering 20 and six channels respectively, will require operators to roll out services within 18 months and must reach at least 50% of the population. ‘Mobile TV exemplifies technological advancement and media convergence. The market worldwide has called for timely response from governments and regulators to facilitate the launch and growth of this innovative service,’ he said. Half the channels within the winners’ spectrum must be used for mobile TV services while the rest can be used for non-mobile services such as digital audio broadcasting or datacasting. According to a CEBD spokeswoman, successful bidders will be able to set their own prices for consumer use, and though the new medium will be regulated by laws, including the Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance, and via codes of practice for self- regulation by operators, it will not be bound by restrictions of cross-media ownership.