& cplSiteName &

Mobile Operators Unite in TV License Bid

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
8/15/2007
50%
50%

On Monday, T-Mobile International AG , Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG , and Vodafone Germany cleared a major hurdle in their bid for a national DVB-H license in Germany, when the federal competition authority approved the operators' mobile TV joint venture.

The three mobile operators are clubbing together to get their hands on a national license to offer mobile TV services. Germany will be one of the first big European markets to issue a mobile TV license using the digital video broadcasting-handheld (DVB-H) standard since the European Commission officially backed the standard last month. (See Reding Riles Mobile TV Players and EC Backs DVB-H.)

If the joint venture is successful in winning the DVB-H license, the operators will form a separate company dedicated to acquiring content and building a mobile TV service delivery platform. But the operators will market their mobile TV offers individually and compete on services.

The operators say they are also considering a wholesale model whereby other service providers can use their platform.

But the operator joint venture will not actually build the DVB-H network. The right to build and operate the network will be authorized by the Germanpublicutilitiesregulator, Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) , in a separate license. The operator joint venture is not applying for that license.

By pooling their resources and not taking on the expense of building the network, the operators are aiming to get into DVB-H as cost effectively as possible.

"We would like to minimize costs and help each other with our know-how," says a T-Mobile spokesman.

The new joint venture will also be in a position to negotiate better deals for content and devices, than if the operators were going it alone, according to Ovum Ltd. principal analyst Eden Zoller.

"Their combined bidding power when it comes to sourcing content is pretty strong… [in addition to] their bargaining power on the devices side," she says.

The licenses will be awarded by "beauty contest." The winners of the licenses -- one for running the network and one for broadcasting content -- will be announced this autumn, but could come as early as the end of this month, according to a Reuters report.

The mobile operator joint venture is competing with broadcasters such as Premiere, ProSiebenSat.1, and the RTL Group, for the broadcast license. The cost of the license is not known.

The aim for all the parties involved in Germany's DVB-H ambitions seems to be to get a network up and running in time for the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) European championship, which will be held in Austria and Switzerland in June next year.

"The Euro Championship and the Olympic Games are definitely drivers for DVB-H," says a Vodafone Germany spokesman.

The Vodafone man explains that, while its mobile TV offer over its 3G network has been "very well accepted by our customers, for future development you need a true broadcast technology."

None of the operators would reveal how many mobile TV customers they actually have. (See Battles Brew Over Mobile TV.)

While the cartel office approved the formation of the joint venture, there are still some competition concerns that need to be addressed. According to a spokesman at the German cartel office, the companies need to propose certain "commitments" to ensure there is no infringement of competition in the other areas of the operators' businesses. Final approval is due at the end of September, says the spokesman.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Puts Gray Boxes in the Shade

    5|2|16   |   04:33   |   (0) comments


    When it comes to the white box trend, "gray" boxes, which have a slight proprietary twist, don't give service providers and end users the advantages they're seeking, according to Verizon's Vice President of Product and New Business Innovation Shawn Hakl.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Dealing With a Disrupted Video Market

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ericsson's Simon Frost discusses how traditional pay-TV providers can cope with the big changes wrought by the rise of OTT video and IP technology.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The VNF Responsibility of Red Hat

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At MWC, Caroline Chappell of Heavy Reading visits the Red Hat booth and sits down with Chris Wright to talk about the responsibility the VNF needs to take on in order to ensure the operators get the carrier-grade performance they expect for their network.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    Amazon AWS Reports $2.6B Quarterly Revenue, Up a Colossal 64%
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/28/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    LoRa Alliance Defends Tech Against Sigfox Slur
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/28/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.