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New This week for Euro TV-to-mobile licences - 07-April-2009, 10:10

This week for Euro TV-to-mobile licences

Chris Forrester

This week Solaris Mobile and Inmarsat are likely to receive their broadcasting licences for S-Band transmissions over Europe, says the Financial Times. Solaris Mobiles satellite was placed into orbit last Friday night. The licences will allow Dublin-based Solaris to start commercialising the spectrum for satellite-delivered TV-to-mobiles, and possibly a Europe-wide pay-radio system.

The FT says London-based Inmarsat and Solaris Mobile will receive 18-year licences from the European Commission this week. The EU decided to pool together the entire S-Band satellite spectrum and award licences in one or two blocks that covered the whole of Europe. The EUs plan was to use these awards to kick-start satellite services to mobile and handheld devices.

The financial newspaper adds that it could also be a way in for brand new entrants to the mobile market to instantly offer a Europe-wide service. They give as an example Google, which might want to offer a pan-regional mobile broadband service.

Other ideas include using the spectrum for powerful DVB-SH feeds for mobile TV, and live TV to cars (in the back seats), already a huge success in South Korea with more than 16m users.

It is also known that Ondas Media is keen on the spectrum. Ondas Media is the name of a Spanish-based group that wants to supply a SiriusXM-type system of hundreds of radio channels over Europe. They already have deals in place with automakers like BMW and Nissan to equip their vehicles with Ondas receivers. Solaris Mobile would be a good starting point for Ondas, allowing the company to get a service up and running while a pair of dedicated satellites are being built.

Ondas Medias CEO Dave Krueger, speaking to Rapid TV News, said: We offer our congratulations to the Solaris team on the launch of W2A and await the positive results of their final positioning and in-orbit testing. This launch is a key milestone in the next generation of mobile services for Europe.
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