Govt to allow Mobile TV trials by pvt operators soon

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New Delhi, Aug 25 (UNI) The Government may soon allow trial of Mobile TV services by private operators.

At present Doordarshan is the only broadcaster which is providing mobile television services, in which television can be viewed on handheld or portable devices.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has accepted recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on bringing in new operators for mobile television and it could go to the Cabinet soon with the new policy, sources in the Ministry told UNI.

''Policy guidelines have been drafted and the Ministry has written to the Department of Telecom to elicit their views,'' an official said.

Public broadcaster Doordarshan had last year launched its mobile TV service providing eight of its channels. The service which is now available only in Delhi can be received on the DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld) compliant mobile handsets.

Major Cellphone makers like Nokia, DD's partner on the DVB-H pilot project, and Samsung have already announced the launch of DVB-H compliant handsets.

Now this sector is in for a massive and exciting growth with the new policy in the offing.

TRAI had recommended that the policy should be technology neutral and the choice should be left to the service provider, but it had said that providers should use a technology that allows subscribers to change the service provider without having to change the handset.

It had suggested that the Government should hold a bidding process for issuing licences.

According to TRAI recommendations, while the existing mobile operators will be allowed to offer mobile TV without having to take a new licence, they were not to be given any additional spectrum for the purpose.

Besides, only the companies taking part in the bidding process will be given 8 Mhz spectrum along with the licence. TRAI has put a cap on broadcasting companies from holding more than 20 per cent stake in a mobile TV provider.

The FDI limit for mobile television service providers has been proposed to be 74 per cent. The broadcasting sector has a cap of 49 per cent.

The telecom regulator had also suggested that infrastructure sharing should be mandated between mobile TV providers.

According to TRAI recommendations, the service providers must commence the mobile television transmission in at least one city in a state having a population of more than one million or the city with the largest population within one year.

In the second phase, the service could be rolled out in all the cities having a population of more than one million to be covered within a period of four years from the date of grant of licence.

UNI NAZ PK CS1525

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