DAB-IP mobile TV standard approved

The DAB standard has been revised, meaning mobile broadcast TV can ready itself for take off

The digital radio standard DAB has been revised, allowing it to be used for the transmission of mobile TV via Internet protocol (IP).

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) approved the revision on Tuesday, paving the way for services such as BT Movio, soon to see its first commercial launch by operator Virgin Mobile.

DAB-IP has potential competitors, such as DVB-H (which can supply a greater range of channels), but is currently the only standard for true IP-based mobile broadcast that can be deployed commercially in the UK, as the spectrum needed for DVB-H isn't available.

The managing director of BT Movio, Emma Lloyd, said on Tuesday that DAB-IP's approval supported BT's view that "we will see multiple standards for mobile TV and radio appearing in different markets across the globe", and that "those adopting a multi-standard approach will therefore emerge as the winners in this potentially lucrative market".

"Consumers want simple access to high-quality TV and radio wherever they are. By using a platform based on IP, we can join different technologies and standards together to give the consumer a seamless experience to enjoy their favourite TV and radio programmes on their mobile phone," she said.

BT Movio claims that users involved in the service's trial stages found DAB-IP's choice of digital radio channels, as well as TV, to be an advantage.

However, the company also claimed it will be able to provide a "seamless" integration of upcoming standards such as DVB-H.

O2 trialled a mobile TV service based on DVB-H in Oxford last year, and BSkyB is testing Qualcomm's MediaFLO digital mobile TV technology.