German Federal Cartel Office to allow joint DVB-H network, with caveats

Germany’s antitrust regulator will allow a DVB-H-based joint mobile TV network among T-Mobile International, O2 Germany and Vodafone Germany to proceed in the country, provided that the companies adhere to certain conditions.

In its official ruling on the venture, whereby T-Mobile International, O2 Germany and Vodafone Germany will share a DVB-H network, the German Federal Cartel Office has mandated that the DVB-H terminal used for the service be compliant with T-DMB and other mobile TV standards. In addition, it must be possible for devices other than mobile phones to receive the signals. The companies must also provide terminal specifications of the platform to the Federal Cartel Office upon request.

The companies first proposed the joint network when the German government announced that it would award two national licenses related to mobile TV broadcasting in the country. One license was for running a mobile TV network and the other for broadcasting the content. T-Mobile International, O2 Germany and Vodafone Germany, seeking the latter, teamed up to obtain it.

Even though they will be sharing a network, the companies will still be competing against one another for viewership. Each will offer differentiated service and access plans.

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