German DVB-H verging on collapse | News | Rapid TV News
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mobile3.0.jpgThe German mobile TV package in DVB-H technology, backed by publishing houses Burda and Holtzbrinck together with South African media company Naspers, appears to be on the verge of folding. 

The partners, who form operating company Mobile 3.0, are about to bury their plans, reports German newspaper Bild. Former partner MFD is said to have already bailed out and it seems that it is now just a matter of finding a way to end the project for all concerned without loss of face. The partners have apparently not yet agreed on which party should cover how much of the several million euros already invested, and it also remains unclear if the licence will be sold or returned to the media authorities.

Mobile 3.0 commenced test transmissions on June 1 in large cities. On board the package are nine TV channels and three radio stations, including public broadcasters ARD and ZDF and commercial channels RTL, Sat.1 and ProSieben. Distribution to further cities and towns was envisioned for autumn, before the bouquet was to be introduced on a large-scale commercial basis in time for the Christmas sales period. According to industry sources, transmissions will now cease in the near future.

The reason for Mobile 3.0’s failure to penetrate the market is believed to be mainly due to the lack of marketing cooperation with Germany’s large mobile phone companies, which also applied for the DVB-H licence. After Mobile 3.0 was granted the licence, the companies decided to introduce their own TV mobile phones to the market which can receive conventional digital terrestrial television via DVB-T completely free of charge, thereby torpedoing Mobile 3.0’s business model to charge monthly fees of between €5 and €10.

If the speculation proves to be true, this would mean that, after the DMB package Watcha, which MFD closed in May due to limited customer acceptance and a lack of economic perspectives, the second attempt to establish broadcast-based mobile TV in Germany has failed. Mobile 3.0 declined to comment.
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