"Mobile broadcasting is a tremendous opportunity for Europe to maintain and expand its leadership in mobile technology and audiovisual services," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media, in making the announcement on July 18.
The move was a major setback for rival standards such as MediaFLO developed by US-based Qualcomm Inc. and others backed by South Korean and Chinese companies.
Europe has been lagging in introducing mobile TV. In South Korea, considered the world leader, the mobile penetration rate is close to 10% while by contrast penetration in Italy, the most advanced EU market, is less than 1%. Mobile TV trials are under way in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden.
The global mobile TV market is forecast to be worth up to €20 billion by 2011, reaching some 500 million customers. Some analysts predict nearly 69 million mobile TV subscribers in Europe by 2011.