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Competing Standards for Mobile TV

There are three competing standards for the delivery of TV content and VoD to mobile handsets; DVB-H, DMB, and MediaFLO. All three standards can use the available spectrum being considered and licensed for mobile TV. In addition, MBMS from mobile operators can deliver content using existing 3G network capacity...


Digital Video Broadcast to Handsets (DVB-H) is a superset of the existing DVB-T (terrestrial) standard used to deliver Free To Air (FTA) stations in the UK and elsewhere. The modification of DBV-H make the radio link more suitable for mobile reception, and reduce the power consumption of the receiving device by using a synchronized timeslot approach, with the handset only receiving during the relevant slot(s). Amongst equipment vendors, Nokia in particular is a strong proponent of DVB-H technology.


Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) is an offshoot of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB, as used to deliver digital radio in the UK and other countries). DAB was originally developed as a research project for the European Union (Eureka project number EU147). DMB was subsequently developed in South Korea under the national IT project. DMB is the mandated mobile TV technology in South Korea, and has been undergoing trials in Europe and elsewhere. Amongst equipment vendors, Samsung is a strong proponent of DMB.


MediaFLO is a patented technology owned and implemented by Qualcomm. It is under testing with various US operators including Verizon and AT&T/Cingular, as well as BSkyB in the UK.


Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services (MBMS) is an alternative means of delivering video content to subscribers across existing UMTS networks and capacity, but exploiting a multicast-capable core network. Various vendors and operators have announced trials of the technology during 2007 and propose operational deployment during 2008

EU Regulatory Position

Given the EUís recent consultation on mobile TV, which advocates the adoption of DVB-H as an EU-wide standard for mobile TV, it seems likely that the DVB-H standard will dominate in Europe.

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