Government admits cell phone TV streaming delayed until 2010

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Spaniards will have to wait until at least 2010 to start watching streaming television broadcasts on their cell phones.

14 February 2008

MADRID - Spaniards will have to wait until at least 2010 to start watching streaming television broadcasts on their cell phones after the government acknowledged this week that it has yet to draw up plans for a new regulatory framework.

The bureaucratic setback will put Spanish consumers and cell phone companies well behind many of their European and international peers in rolling out mobile TV based on the DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld) standard. The technology allows high-quality streaming television to be picked up by cell phones from terrestrial and satellite networks, considerably improving performance over existing mobile TV services that use third-generation cell phone networks. The system had been expected to go into commercial use in Spain this year.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, Johan Ansjoe, the CEO of Spain's fourth operator Yoigo, predicted a price war in the sector this year. His comments came on the back of the announcement Tuesday that Vodafone, Spain's second operator, will start competing directly with dominant communications provider Telefónica in the fixed-line market. The company said it will offer fixed-line users a domestic calling plan at a flat rate of EUR 15 a month.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / RAMÓN MUÑOZ / ANGELES ESPINOSA 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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