Russia approves mobile TV

Russia has taken a huge step towards the launch of mobile TV services in its capital, Moscow.
Kommersant reports that the country’s State Commission for Radio Frequencies (GKRCH) has given the go-ahead for subsidiaries of three operators – Sistema, Vimpelcom and Skartela – to launch DVB-H services in Moscow by the end of the year.

Until the end of the year, they will operate on a trial basis and offer eight channels free of charge. These have already been selected, according to an earlier Presidential Decree, as the main TV channels currently available in Russia, plus new youths and children’s channels.

More will subsequently be added, with operators having to obtain permission in each case, though DVB-H is as yet not regulated by Russian law.

All three operators appear to have the necessary infrastructure in place, and Sistema’s subsidiary TSTV has in fact already undertaken trials.

However, Kommersant points out that there are some doubts as to Sistema’s future mobile plans: disagreements led to the resignation of TSTV’s director only last week, and the company has stated a preference for using 3G rather than DVB-H for a future mobile TV service.

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