EC calling Nokia's technology standard


BRUSSELS -- The European Commission next month will name the DVB-H technology developed by Nokia as the standard for mobile broadcasting in Europe.

The commission -- the European Union's regulatory authority -- is set to announce July 11 that DVB-H has established itself as the "strongest contender" amongst the competing broadcasting technologies.

The move comes a year after the EC asked operators, broadcasters and handsetmakers to settle the key technology issues that have held back the development of mobile broadcasting. However, the industry group failed to overcome its differences over the main broadcast technology.

EU Media and Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding will now propose an EU standard over key radio spectrum bandwidths as she fears the market will take too long to reach a consensus on its own. In legislative terms, it is the same method the EU used in the early 1990s to set the GSM standard for mobile phones -- an approach that eventually gave Europe a global lead in the cell phone market.

The move is expected to give a shot in the arm for mobile broadcasting. Operators, broadcasters and handsetmakers are reluctant to commit major investment until they are sure a basic standard will be assured.