As much as things change, so much stays the same. Consider the latest events in the tussle over a global standard to deliver mobile TV to wireless devices. The European Union is moving early to enforce a single standard structure in Europe.
This is not good news for the companies that make mobile devices, especially those that have developed the standards that the EU doesn't favor.
The approved standard is called DVB-H (for digital video broadcasting-handheld), which the EU actually helped to develop by providing funding to Nokia
The recommendation will call on EU member nations to encourage the use of DVB-H at the expense of other standards such as T-DMB, deployed successfully in South Korea, and the MediaFLO standard developed by Qualcomm
Essentially, this means that device manufacturers such as Samsung and Motorola
But there's nothing surprising about the move by the European regulatory body, and the choice was largely predicted in the industry. In fact, there was little hope of there ever being a single global standard for mobile TV. Qualcomm investors will recognize this latest spin on an old script. The European Union also pushed to make GSM (and succeeding technologies) the standard for cellular services to keep out Qualcomm's alternative CDMA technology.
Characterizing the news as a "blow to Qualcomm," as some media outlets have, is a bit of a stretch, though. While Qualcomm and vendors supplying alternative technologies will not have their favored technologies "encouraged" for use in the EU, they have DVB-H products in their portfolio. So while some suppliers will have to shift gears, none are being forced off the road.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock doesn't watch TV, so he has little use for it on his cell phone. He owns shares of Motorola and Qualcomm. He is also the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool's disclosure policy is broadcast 24/7 in high-def.