French mobile TV licence holders find no network operator

Friday 20 January 2012 | 09:32 CET | News
The 16 TV channels selected by French audiovisual regulator CSA in 2008 to launch personal mobile TV services told the authority that they found no company ready to build and finance a new dedicated broadcast network for this purpose, La Tribune reports. In 2010 French broadcast transmission services provider TDF had proposed to do so, but dropped the project in the middle of 2011, due to a lack of an adequate business model. CSA had given the channels until 4 January 2012 to find another operator. The matter must now be considered by the regulator, with the next logical step likely to be a withdrawal of the channels' frequency licences. Most other European countries that had launched a dedicated mobile TV network (Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Switzerland) shut it down in 2010 or 2011. The question is now to see how to reuse the freed spectrum. One idea would be to offer a range of services (radio, VoD, press) on smartphones and tablets, which is being pursued by the Broadcast Mobile Multimedia (B2M) project led by TDF in partnership with Archos, Dibcom, Expway, Airweb and others. The project received a EUR 1 million loan, 30 percent of its budget, from the government in December 2011. A prototype is due to be tested in the second half of this year.

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