Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding has predicted that television on mobile devices will be the next big thing in consumer electronics.
Speaking at the opening of the CeBIT trade fair in Hannover on 8 March 2006, Ms. Reding said: “Mobile TV seems set to become the next high growth consumer technology,” adding: “It is at the crossroads of two powerful social trends: greater mobility, and new forms of accessing media content.” The Commissioner argued in favour of a harmonised spectrum to be made available for new mobile TV services throughout Europe and for digital TV to remain in the scope of the revised ‘Television without Frontiers’ Directive, slamming some mobile operators’ hopes of excluding it from the scope of the directive.
At the Hannover trade fair, T-Mobile launched its HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) mobile network, based on technology from Nokia, which allows for download speeds of initially 1 to 2 Mbps and later up to 14.4 Mbps. The network will be rolled out to the Netherlands and the UK later in 2006. But according to the Commissioner the new technology will not be sufficient without additional frequencies. Pointing to recent research that shows that there is a potential of 200 million mobile TV subscribers in Europe, she said: “3G investors that are deploying mobile infrastructures are already accepting that, even with the rollout of HSDPA 3G networks, there will be a need for complementary networks and technologies in order to meet this demand.”
On 9 March 2006, Microsoft and Samsung are unveiling at CeBIT their Origami project, a so-called ultra mobile PC with a touch screen running a customised version of Mcrosoft’s Windows XP operating system. When equipped with an external dongle, the device, which features built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, will be able to run digital TV. It is therefore rumoured to be a possible key element in the close future of digital mobile entertainment.