3 granted licence to test mobile TV

25 Sep 2006

Siliconrepublic.com has learned that the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has awarded a DVB-H (digital video broadcast over handheld) test and trial licence to 3, allowing the company to trial broadcast TV services over mobile handsets.

The licence takes effect immediately and runs for one year.

3’s DVB-H tests in Ireland follow the success of a range of TV content available on 3 from Barclays Premiership highlights and the best of Father Ted, to 3’s own music channel hosted by Tom Dunne.

DVB-H is a technology specifically developed for broadcasting live television channels via mobile handsets.

Broadcast mobile TV transmitted via DVB-H has the potential to bring a number of consumer benefits including: access to many live TV channels; an enhanced customer experience through new functionality such as interactive TV; high-quality pictures and sound without delays, freezing or buffering; and an efficient delivery system which reduces battery consumption.

Robert Finnegan, 3’s managing director, commented that 3 Italia was the first in Europe to launch broadcast TV over mobile; 3’s sister company in Italy launched its DVB-H service called WalkTV earlier this year and is already broadcasting mobile TV to an audience of 140,000. 3 Italia expects to see 10 million mobile TV customers by 2010.

“As a group we are already leading the development of this new technology. Ireland has a high take-up of digital TV services compared to many EU countries, with 42pc of all households using digital TV services. DVB-H brings the benefits of digital TV to mobile. Mobile TV is important to 3 and to the Irish market as consumers demand more sophisticated mobile services.”

The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel DempseyTD said he welcomes all developments in the digital television area. “It is particularly important that Ireland rolls out a digital terrestrial television network in the coming years and that the full range of digital services become available to the Irish citizen.”

By Elaine Larkin