The licensing approaches for mobile TV resemble those for IPTV services. In several countries, the government distinguishes between content and carriage. In Singapore, for example, MDA has proposed subjecting mobile TV to the existing licensing structure for fixed digital broadcasting. Mobile TV operators would obtain both a multiplex licence and a broadcasting service licence from MDA, under the Broadcasting Act, as well as a “Facilities-Based Operator” licence issued by the Info-communications Development Authority (IDA) under the Telecommunications Act.
In the United States, however, a licensee operating under one of the C block (710-716/740-746 MHz) or D block (716-722 MHz) licences in the UHF band can provide “flexible fixed, mobile, and broadcast uses, including mobile and other digital new broadcast operations, fixed and mobile wireless commercial services (including FDD- and TDD-based services). . .[that] could also include two-way interactive, cellular, and mobile TV broadcasting services.”
In January 2008, Hong Kong, China issued a consultation paper on mobile TV, proposing to licence mobile TV services under a new category of television programme service provided in the Broadcasting Ordinance. Or, mobile TV could be regulated through general laws (as currently is the case), if industry implemented a code of practice for self-regulation. Currently, mobile TV providers offering streaming-type mobile TV services (already available on 2.5 GHz and 3 GHz mobile networks) are not subject to broadcasting regulation and can offer services if they hold a mobile carrier licence.
|Hong Kong, China’s Regulation of Mobile TV, IPTV, and Internet TV|
Source: Consultation on Digital Broadcasting: Mobile Television and Related Issues, UCAC Paper No. 3/2007, 26 April 2007, at p. 12, available at http://www.ofta.gov.hk/en/ad-comm/ucac/paper/uc2007p3.pdf
||Mobile licence or unified carrier licence (proposed by regulators to replace both fixed and mobile carrier licences in future)
||Carrier licence required for conveyance of IPTV services
||No licence required|
||Not currently applicable to mobile TV on 2.5 and 3 GHz networks
||Broadcasting licence required: IPTV service over fixed network is categorized as domestic pay TV programme service
Exempted from the licensing requirement under the Broadcasting Ordinance
In January 2008, TRAI in India issued recommendations on mobile TV. Since cellular licensees were already allowed to deliver video content over their networks, the recommendations primarily addressed mobile TV licensing for dedicated broadcast networks. TRAI proposed a tender process to award mobile broadcast licences in the 582-806 MHz band for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and in the 2520-2670 MHz band for satellite transmission. TRAI further recommended that mobile TV operators not be made responsible for following content codes if they simply retransmitted channels without altering content.
 Media Dev. Auth. (MDA), Public Consultation on Policy and Regulatory Framework for Mobile Broadcasting Services in Singapore, at 8 (Nov. 21, 2007), available at: www.mda.gov.sg/wms.file/mobj/mobj.1167.Mobile%20TV%20Consultation.pdf.
 FCC, FCC Auction 49: Lower 700 MHz Band Fact Sheet, available at: http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/default.htm?job=auction_factsheet&id=49.
 Comms. and Tech Branch, Com. and Econ. Dev. Bureau and Of. of the Telecomms. Auth., Second Consultation on Development of Mobile Television Services, paras 6.2, 6.4 (2008).
 TRAI, India, Recommendations on Issues Relating to Mobile Television Service, (Jan. 23, 2008).