The European Commission has paved the way for faster development of television via mobile phones by approving the DVB-H standard.

The lack of a single technology has held back wider take-up for mobile TV until now, and DVB-H could become a global standard because of this EC decision.

The choice by the EC is a blow for US company Qualcomm and South Korean vendors which have promoted their own technologies.

Commercial DVB-H broadcasts have already started in India and Vietnam as well as some European countries.

350 Nokia N92 handsets capable of carrying 13 channels, including RTÉ 1 and RTÉ 2, are currently being tested in Ireland by mobile operator O2.

Most people who watch TV on their phones use 3G mobile networks, which brings in significant data transmission fee revenue for the operators, but also features limited picture quality and user numbers.

Mobile operators hope mobile TV could encourage users to spend an extra €5-10 a month, compensating for declining revenues from voice calls.