Last Friday Austria opened up the application for DVB-H broadcasts, according to minister of media, Doris Bures: “We are on schedule on the road to introduce this technical innovation right in time for the start of the European Cup finals.” The introduction is not only important for consumers, but will also have its effect on the country as a place for new technologies.
The introduction of mobile TV broadcasts is not without controversy: operator One said earlier last week that it will need more time than the eight weeks window now open. “There is much interest in DVB-H. However, more time is needed to develop an interesting programme bouquet, which will on the one hand take the interests of the content owners into account and on the other hand offers a viable financial model.” One wants the deadline to be extended to February, 2008.
Also, 3G Hutchson, the operator of 3 Austria, has applied for an extension of the deadline, as two months will not be sufficient. The operator has also complained that ORS has not been willing to provide a transparent costs model for co-usage of their existing transmitter network.
The ProSiebenSat1 group is also not convinced the game will be played fairly: “Should ORF daughter company ORS be awarded the license to operate the Mux-D, we have to fear that ORF programmes will have an advantage. The current legal framework does not offer enough protection,” said Markus Breitenecker, managing director of ProSieben Austria.
In October KommAustria will also open up applications for the Mux-C, which will be used for local and regional broadcasters.