The French broadcasting regulator is inviting applications to provide national mobile television services. It is calling for up to 13 commercial personal mobile television services in addition to three channels reserved for the public service broadcasters.

The CSA, the independent administrative authority for broadcasting in France, has issued the invitation following a period of consultation.

The proposed services will use the DVB-H mobile television broadcasting standard in bands IV and V or DVB-SH in S band, with MPEG-4 compression. It is anticipated that around 320Kbps will be allocated to each channel.

Proposed channels can be either permanent or time-shared, general interest or thematic, free or pay services.

The regulator will prefer services that are free-to-view, subject to being financially viable with regard to advertising revenue.

Within two months of approval, service providers must jointly propose a separate company to provide the technical operations and transmission network.

Applicants will need to cover a minimum of 30 per cent of the population within three years and 60 percent within six years.

The deadline for applications is 18 January 2008. The regulator plans to announce the successful applicants in April with approval given in June.