EC mobile TV tax slammed


Mobile broadcasting association the Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum (BMCO Forum) has lashed out at the European Commission’s plans to introduce a 14 per cent tax on high-end mobile TV enabled handsets.

The group believes it poses a risk for the development of mobile TV into a mass-market service.
The BMCO Forum said it had previously supported proposals from the European Commission for fostering the development of mobile TV into a mass-market service.

The Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum believes that the introduction of a 14 per cent customs duty upon entry to the EU on high-end mobile TV enabled phones – as well as on components, produced outside the EU and used to manufacture mobile TV enabled phones in the EU – will seriously threaten the development of mobile TV into a mass market service.

It said the impact of the customs duty would limit the availability of new mobile TV devices as a result of increased end-user prices, and discourage technological advances in the field.

BMCO Forum chairman Franklin Selgert said: “BMCO Forum members are surprised by the non-harmonised approach of the European Commission regarding the development of mobile TV-fostering it on the one hand and setting barriers to its adoption on the other.

“We call on European Commission and member states not to set any additional customs duties on mobile TV enabled components and devices.”

The EC notified member states last month of its intention to reclassify certain mobile handsets as “multi-functional devices”, which would incur additional taxes on phones with TV receivers.

The move came less than two weeks after the EC published a set of guidelines for the authorisation of mobile TV and pushed for EU countries to work together to support the DVB-H standard.