Europe is laying the groundwork to roll out mobile TV services and hopes to have a system up and running in time for the European football championship in 2008, officials, quoted by an AFP report, said.
The AFP report said European telecom ministers recently at the world's biggest high-tech fair, the CeBIT, and said the bloc was striving to meet the massive demand for broadcasts on handheld devices expected among fans during Euro 2008, which will be hosted by Austria and Switzerland.
'There is no more time to lose,' EU Telecom and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding was quoted as saying.
The AFP report, quoting the EU, said market studies indicate that mobile television could win 100 million subscribers throughout Europe by 2010, and that the global market could be worth 11.4 billion euros ($15.2 billion) by 2009.
Britain, Finland and Italy have already seen brisk growth in their mobile TV markets and Germany is running a pilot project in the western city of Duesseldorf after a test run during last summer's football World Cup, the AFP report said.
EU telecommunications ministers compared notes on the budding sector and quizzed industry experts on competing technical standards, the report said.
Two technologies are currently competing on the market: T-DMB and DVB-H, each with different bands and channelling.
Reding came out at the CeBIT in favor of DVB-H, which has already been adopted by Italy and Finland and won the support of the French government, the report further said.