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Telekom Austria mulls mobile TV appeal
|03 марта 2008|
Telekom Austria said it is still considering whether to launch an appeal against the disqualification of its mobile TV licence application.
"No decision to appeal has yet been taken," said Boris Nemsic, CEO of Telekom Austria Group.
Austria plans to allocate one licence for DVB-H, with other mobile TV providers paying the licensee to offer channels to their subscribers.
Telekom Austria applied for the multiplex licence and proposed its mobile unit, mobilkom, would take on the role of programme aggregator.
But late last month it emerged that the country's watchdog the Rundfunk and Telekom Regulierungs (RTR) had thrown out the application as the terms of the licence call for independence between the operator and the programme aggregator.
"It's a stupid legal point. The regulator considered Telekom Austria and mobilkom austria sister companies," Nemsic explained to Total Telecom in London Thursday.
"We asked before we made the application if our offer was OK and they said it was, but they changed their decision halfway through – probably to avoid appeals from everyone else," he added.
The remaining hopefuls in Austria's search for a mobile TV licensee are Media Broadcast, owned by France's TdF, and Mobile TV Infrastruktur, which is controlled by a number of Austrian publishing houses.
The country's state television broadcaster ORF also made a bid for the sole licence through its network operator subsidiary ORS, but it was also disqualified on the grounds that it had not named a programme aggregator.
Nemsic remained defiant and said that regardless of whether he appeals the regulator's decision, Telekom Austria still plans to play a role in the country's mobile TV service.
"What role we end up playing exactly I don't know at this stage, but I do know there can't be a DVB-H market in Austria without involving the country's biggest mobile operator," he said.
Speaking about mobile TV in general, Nemsic said the most viable business model will be to charge customers directly for content.
"The pricing structure needs to be simple, so for instance you sell customers a package of channels and then charge for premium content on top of that," he suggested.
He conceded that mobile advertising could potentially subsidise mobile TV services, but warned that it is still too early to assert with any authority exactly how this will be achieved.
"With [normal] TV we know how advertising works, with online we barely know, for mobile the industry has no clue. For now we need a simple approach, and that approach is that as an operator we can offer reach to a lot of people, which is important to advertisers," said Nemsic.
"For mobile advertising to be viable it must achieve critical mass," he added.
Источник: Total Telecom