The Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum (bmcoforum) believes that the plans of the European Commission to introduce a 14% customs duty on high-end mobile TV enabled phones, as well as on components upon entry to the EU, will have an negative effect on the development of mobile TV into a mass-market service.
The impact of the customs duty will limit the availability of new mobile TV devices and negatively influence technical innovation that targets convergence of mobile TV with other technologies such as multimedia and Internet browsing in one device for end-user convenience. The special 14% tax will pose a risk for the development of mobile TV into a mass-market service.
Until now, the European Commission has taken a number of measures to help establish mobile TV services. It published a communication on the legal framework for mobile TV networks and services by identifying best practice for authorisation. The bmcoforum has previously supported proposals from the Commission.
Of the many factors involved in the success of broadcast mobile TV services, handset availability is arguably the most critical. A wide range of attractive, feature rich handsets at a variety of price points is crucial to the rapid uptake of mobile TV services by consumers. With this in mind, the forum is surprised at the proposed customs duties.