Digital TV Will Come to Phones in Europe Too
By Eric Lin, Mon Oct 27 23:00:00 GMT 2003

Nokia is the first European manufacturer to publicly announce they will integrate digital TV into next generation handsets.

Months ago, Europe's Digital Video Broadcast Group announced a spec (thanks to MoCo News for digging this up) for digital terrestrial broadcasts that included support for mobile devices. The spec allows for specialized mobile formatted video as well as access to audio and data components from full DBT broadcasts.

Because the digital video signal will be coming from traditional broadcasters or new media outlets it will, or it could, bypass the mobile operators. The DVB group is looking at a unified video over DBT and UMTS or GPRS standard. However there is still an opportunity to bypass the carrier in this case. Many phones already include an FM radio, which is not so different, except that many operators are counting on revenues for streaming video and video on demand over 3G. Delivery of streaming audio is rarely considered as a revenue stream (although it can be done).

Europe is not alone. Japan and South Korea already have Digital Broadcast timelines that call for mobile formatted content in late 2005 or early 2006. NEC and Sanyo have each shown off prototype handsets that include digital TV tuners.

Not only could digital TV for mobile phones dash operators' hopes for increased data revenue from streaming video, it could also squash their content ventures. After all, who is better at providing engaging broadcast content than television broadcasters?