Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Alcatel demonstrates Europe’s first live Mobile TV in S-band

Alcatel has announced the successful demonstration of Europe's first broadcast of live TV channels on mobile handsets in S-band. The demonstration took place in Alcatel's UK premises. It is using the new DVB-SH standard (Satellite services for Handhelds), which is currently being drafted by the DVB Project. To perform this demonstration, Alcatel was assisted by UK broadcasters Sky, ITV and BBC.

Representatives from European mobile operators, TV broadcasters, industry analyst firms and regulatory bodies were able to see content received on SAGEM myMobileTV handsets. These terminals are using the S-band telecom frequency between 2.17GHz and 2.20GHz, which is adjacent to the 3G/UMTS band. 30MHz of spectrum is currently available all across Europe and in other major regions in the world.

DVB-SH is a new technology targeting the S-band. DVB-SH is a related standard to DVB-H. With DVB-SH technology, Mobile TV signals can be broadcast from satellites as well as from terrestrial transmitters directly to handhelds. DVB-SH handhelds can be designed in such a way that they become compatible with DVB-H so that both standards can be received in one end-user terminal.

In addition, Alcatel demonstrated two possible key technical features using the DVB-SH standard. Reception Antenna Diversity, a feature using two antennas inside the same mobile device, enables improvements in the signal quality under difficult conditions. Furthermore, improved Time Interleaving overcomes fading impairment in mobility conditions. The significant quality enhancement was demonstrated by implementing these DVB-SH features.

Ulrich Reimers, Chairman of the Technical Module of DVB Project, said that DVB-SH was "a perfect complement to other standards, such as DVB-H, which is typically using UHF frequencies but is capable of using the L-band. Thus DVB-SH may have a significant impact on the global Mobile TV industry."

Olivier Coste, President of Alcatel's mobile broadcast activities concluded: "Quality of Service is essential for operators to attract and retain Mobile TV users. Today, we demonstrated that high quality live Mobile TV using the S-band works. This can be up and running commercially very soon. With the additional benefits of universal indoor and countrywide coverage, the fundamentals of our solution are already solid enough to enable operators to profit from sustainable Mobile TV market growth thanks to the S-band."

Monday, November 20, 2006

DiBcom, leader behind Mobile TV expands to new emerging market

Paris, 20 November, 2006 – DiBcom, the leading semiconductor company designing high performance Mobile TV chipsets, has decided to invest in India by opening a software development centre in Bangalore.

This new research and development facility represents an extension of DiBcom’s R&D team based at its headquarters in France and will complement all software development currently in progress. Expanding to India reflects DiBcom’s commitment towards its strategic partnerships with international hardware and software vendors.

The site in Bangalore strengthens DiBcom’s ability to meet the specific needs of its clients, enhancing customer support in the development and product integration of associated platforms. DiBcom’s investment in India not only allows the company to remain competitive and better serve the demands of ODM’s (original design manufacturer), but also establishes a strong foothold in this new and dynamic DVB-H Indian market.

“To stay competitive in all DVB-T and DVB-H markets, DiBcom has decided to expand its skilled workforce to India, thus facilitating the porting of DiBcom chipsets to diverse hardware platforms running a wide range of operating systems and application platforms,” said Khaled Maalej, Chief Technology Officer of DiBcom.

With the arrival of the new DIB7070 technology that combines a tri-band RF tuner with a highly integrated DVB-T and DVB-H demodulator, DiBcom will provide increasingly sophisticated software stacks to adapt both DVB-T and now DVB-H receivers into different platforms, including:

- Residential and automotive set top boxes,

- Desktop and laptop PCs,

- Personal media players and LCD TVs,

- Mobile phone and Smartphone accessories

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mobile operator to launch next phase of Oxford trial in February or March 2007.

O2 said on Wednesday that the next phase of its U.K. mobile TV trial would focus on interactivity and possible advertising models as the mobile operator investigates the potential of using its 3G network to complement a broadcast mobile TV solution.

The move could be seen as something of an about-turn by an operator that has always stressed it sees DVB-H broadcast technology as the only real solution for mobile TV, and has largely dismissed 3G as unsuitable for streaming video services.

Combining broadcast and 3G networks has been cited by other companies in the industry as the best strategy for the provision of mobile TV as it would provide operators with more flexibility for service differentiation, and enable more interactivity such as TV voting.

But Peter Erskine, CEO of Telefonica O2 Europe, told Total Telecom at an O2 media day in London on Wednesday that the company is still fully committed to its original strategy of offering DVB-H services, and commented that he thinks 3G is "only really good enough for video clips".

However, Erskine conceded that there are still considerable "frustrations" in the U.K. over spectrum, with the required UHF spectrum only set to be available following the switchover to digital television.

"If we don't get [the required spectrum] it's not going to be viable," Erskine told journalists and analysts during his presentation on Wednesday.

He added that even if the spectrum were made available there would probably only be room for one or maybe two networks in the U.K. providing broadcast services based on DVB-H broadcast technology.

O2, which recently reported healthy financials for the third quarter of this year, said the next phase of its Oxford, England-based mobile TV trial will start in around February or March next year and will deploy 3G mobile technology alongside DVB-H to test two-way interactivity and advertising models.

A spokesman for the operator said it's likely that the same partners will be used for handsets and network, although no agreements have been reached as yet. Both Nokia and broadcast infrastructure company Arqiva worked with O2 in the DVB-H-only trial that ended earlier this year.

As for other mobile broadcast technologies, Dave Williams, chief technology officer of Telefonica O2 Europe, said the operator is "watching" developments of T-DMB and MediaFLo, but has no plans to implement these technologies at present. He added that the company sees no business case for Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), the technology being used by BT Movio for its mobile TV service.

Williams also commented that O2 is not planning to make use of its TDD spectrum, which like most Western European operators O2 obtained when it acquired its UMTS licences, although he said the operator "would like to" make use of this spectrum.

When asked if O2 would consider using solutions developed by companies such as IPWireless for deployment in TDD unpaired spectrum bands, Erskine more or less dismissed this as an option, saying such services were "a bit of a lame duck, it seems to me".

IPWireless has developed a solution for mobile broadband services as well as a mobile TV service called TDtv for deployment in the TDD band.

Meanwhile mobile TV is just one of several services being developed by O2, which recently launched DSL services in Germany and is planning to do the same in the U.K. via its newly acquired ISP Be.

Erskine said Be now has 30% population coverage in the U.K., and is aiming to increase this to 60-70% in the coming year. However, Erskine stressed that O2 is in no rush to jump on the broadband bandwagon and would only roll out its own DSL offering once it felt that the customer experience would be a good one.

Matthew Key, CEO of O2 UK, commented that customers in the U.K. "are rebelling against free" because of recent experiences with new so-called free offerings from the likes of Carphone Warehouse and Orange.

"So that's not where we're going," said Key. "We are watching and learning now."

But Erskine stressed: "We are getting into fixed broadband. We see a lot of opportunities there."

According to Williams, O2's future focus will be on the launch of HSDPA and eventually HSUPA; the implementation of smaller GSM and eventually 3G base stations in homes to help improve indoor coverage and network coverage in general; and IMS. The operator also plans to investigate UMTS 900 technology, which it is currently trialling in the Isle of Man, and UMA technology for fixed-mobile convergence.

However, Williams said the company has no plans for any major investment in WiMAX as it believes HSDPA and the future evolution of 3G technology will more than meet its requirements for wide area mobile broadband services.

O2 will also adopt different approaches in its markets since each market has different requirements. For example, so-called homezone services launched under the Genion brand have been hugely successful in Germany, but such services, where a user is able to make cheap mobile calls at home, are not really available in the U.K.

Key commented that it's difficult to achieve the same level of success with this service in the U.K. "because the amount of differential you can drive in the U.K. is not the same".

Qatar Telecom unveils its new DVB H service

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) unveiled its new DVB H (Digital Video Broadcast - Handheld) service on Monday, through which 13 television channels can be viewed on a specially-enabled mobile phone handset.

Qtel has 1380 of the handsets, manufactured specifically for the Doha Asian games Organising Committee (DAGOC) for a trial during the forthcoming Asian games, which open in Doha next month. The service will be provided free during the games and will be marketed in the country early next year.

Dr Nasser Marafih, CEO of Qtel, told Khaleej Times that Qatar is one of the few countries in the world to offer the service, which is three times better quality than normal TV-over-GSM and also offers stereo sound. Nokia is developing the N92, which is also enabled to receive DVB-H, however its technical staff are currently working with Qtel to make it compatible with the Qtel system. If they succeed, then Nokia92 owners will also have free access to the service during the games, he said.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

GROWTH IN THE NUMBER OF MOBILE TV USERS IN THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION - Assodigitale - Associazione Italiana Operatori Industria e Media Digitali

There should be about 5 million Mobile TV viewers in the region by the end of 2006. To these figures must be added those users who instead consume or will consume video services on 3G mobile telephone networks.

Currently, mobile TV services in the Asia Pacific region have been launched in South Korea (in May 2005 and December 2005) and in Japan (in October 2004 and April 2006).

Mobile TV phone services will be available in Vietnam by the end of 2006 and, starting early in 2007, in India. Mobile TV service trials are also currently being conducted in other countries in the region, including China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore. In the medium-long term, growth in the mobile TV market in the Asia Pacific region is closely tied to the development of Mobile TV services in China.

According to the e-Media Institute study, in 2010 there could be nearly 73 million Mobile TV users in the Asia Pacific region. However, should the Chinese market develop more rapidly, the dimensions of the Mobile TV market could even be greater in the medium-long term.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

3UK, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone Trial Mobile TV Powered by TDtv Technology

October 11, 2006 - 3UK, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone today announce the launch of a technical trial of TDtv, the UMTS TD-CDMA-3GPP Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Services (MBMS) standard-based solution. The trial is expected to provide valuable insights for mobile operators into the potential of using their existing spectrum and infrastructure to deliver mobile television and other multimedia services.

The TDtv trial, which is scheduled to run to the end of the year, will test key performance and deployment aspects of the mobile TV technology. TDtv base stations provided by IPWireless have been deployed on 12 cell sites covering parts of Bristol in the UK to provide broadcast services to TDtv enabled smart phones. MobiTV, Inc., the international mobile and broadband television services company, will provide the client application, as well as facilitate the mobile content and operational components of the trial.

Adult Response

Respond Mobile has launched a dedicated pan-European mobile TV delivery platform specifically for adult content.
Rhythm TV will comprise some of the biggest names in adult TV alongside new made for mobile channels, the Candy Louge magazine programme and and an exotic dance station. Pan-European adult TV stations such as XXX TV and 100% Babes are part of the launch package.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The future of TV will be personal

The report predicts that mobile TV programming will be a combination
of original content from broadcast television and new content made
specifically for mobile.

It is expected that the most popular genres and programmes on mobile
TV will be news, entertainment (soaps, reality shows, comedy,
animation), sport, music and children's programmes. Moreover, the
content will be tailored with the mobile viewer in mind:

* Much shorter and more concise news bulletins
* User interactivity in the plots of reality TV shows and game shows
* Growing importance of user-generated content
* New distribution formats: in China, for instance,
the movie Kung Fu Hustle was made into ten segments for mobile TV

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mobile TV's clouded picture

The problem is it is shrouded in far too many unknowns: the standard, the business model, the handset, battery life, spectrum availability, backhaul cost and pricing.

Alcatel and ARCHOS team up for world’s first portable multimedia player adapted to broadcast mobile TV in the S-Band

Within the framework of this agreement, ARCHOS will develop the world‘s first portable multimedia player adapted to Alcatel’s Unlimited Mobile TV solution, a hybrid terrestrial and satellite broadcast solution based on an evolution of the DVB-H standard in the S-Band (2.2 GHz). Commercial availability of ARCHOS S-Band compatible devices is expected in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The joint solution will adhere to the upcoming standard being prepared in the DVB Forum by the dedicated DVB-SSP (Satellite Services for Portable devices) Workgroup. Alcatel will provide support to ARCHOS in terms of interoperability testing and in terms of access to chipset manufacturers implementing DVB-SSP. Both companies will also promote and expand the related S-Band technology and standards as a leading solution for mobile video broadcast, and accelerate the time-to-market of the joint solution.

E-Plus exits German DVB-H consortium

E-Plus will not participate in a German mobile TV consortium with the other German mobile operators, Vodafone Germany, T-Mobile Germany and O2 Germany. CEO Michael Krammer said that the operator is not against mobile TV as a service, but does not want to get tangled up in political or regulatory frameworks that are connected with such a consortium. E-Plus has also weighed the financial perspectives against the needed investment in DVB-H networks and decided to stop with the consortium. The mobile operator wants to focus on marketing and selling products and services instead of investing in unsure and untried new services.

Asia Pacific Mobile TV Subscribers

There should be about 5 million Mobile TV viewers in the region by the end of 2006. To these figures must be added those users who instead consume or will consume video services on 3G mobile telephone networks.

Currently, mobile TV services in the Asia Pacific region have been launched in South Korea (in May 2005 and December 2005) and in Japan (in October 2004 and April 2006).

Mobile TV phone services will be available in Vietnam by the end of 2006 and, starting early in 2007, in India. Mobile TV service trials are also currently being conducted in other countries in the region, including China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore. In the medium-long term, growth in the mobile TV market in the Asia Pacific region is closely tied to the development of Mobile TV services in China.

Monday, November 06, 2006

ATV's News Archive November 6th - November10th

"Broadcasters should not see new technologies such as mobile TV as a threat, and instead think of them as opportunities that come with switching to digital mode, the Technical Committee heard at the 43rd ABU General Assembly in Beijing.

John Bigeni, the DVB representative for Asia, said the common misconception was that mobile broadcasting services have been 'largely identified as the realm of telecommunications operators rather than broadcasters, simply because they are expected to be ideally received over the mobile phone'.

However, it was the broadcasters who held the valuable and scarce spectrum which enabled the launch of such services, and the telecommunications companies were actively trying to acquire this spectrum.

Bigeni said that technology such as DVB-H changed the threat of new technology to an opportunity for broadcasters because it enabled them to provide handheld services over their existing digital channels. 'This is done together with normal services, and can be made either free to air or pay service as this depends on the adopted business plan. But above all, these services are not just restricted to telco-type services,' he said."

ATV's News Archive November 6th - November10th

The same Olswang survey revealed that, despite the launch of a range of mobile TV services in the last 12 months, consumers remain uninterested in using their mobile phones to view audio-visual content. 90 percent of respondents have not yet streamed or downloaded any full length content, clips or trailers to their mobile phones and, of these, over 70 per cent stated they have no future interest in this activity.

Mobile phone companies also face competition from usage of other portable devices, with 30 percent of consumers already using a portable DVD player, Sony PSP, iPod with video or other device to watch TV programmes or movies.

ATV's News Archive

The Olswang Convergence Consumer Survey 2006 has revealed that rights holders and service providers are facing new challenges in the battle for consumer attention. In the digital age, consumers want choice and control but show an unwillingness to pay for content.

Consumers are demonstrating a clear preference for feature films and TV programmes over shorter clips and trailers as their content of choice for the PC. Nearly 40 per cent of UK consumers are already streaming or downloading audio-visual content onto computers at home. Whilst this may suggest a potentially lucrative market for rights holders and service providers, the downside is that consumers appear reluctant to pay to receive content on their home PC, with 1 in 2 not prepared to pay anything extra for streamed/downloaded content and a further 40 per cent not willing to pay more than £5 (E7.25) per month.

Virgin's Lobster

The Lobster 700TV offers a seven day electronic programme guide (EPG) making it a snap to see what’s on now and next, an exclusive for mobile. The ‘red-button’ interactivity means you can find out more and interact with the programme you are watching. DAB digital radio is another huge first for mobile customers. Now you can enjoy the unique features of DAB such as quick and easy tuning, a choice of up to 50 digital radio stations straight to your handset, and crystal clear sound.

Friday, November 03, 2006

China says it will enforce homegrown mobile TV standard

Broadcasters in China's emerging mobile TV industry have been ordered to use Chinese technology standards instead of competing foreign systems, a news report said.

China is trying to develop its own standards for mobile communications and other technology, hoping to reduce reliance on foreign know-how and give its own companies a competitive edge.

The national broadcast regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television told mobile TV broadcasters this week they must use the STiMi standard developed by its own researchers, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

"The introduction of STiMi, which is China's independent intellectual property right, demonstrates that China has world-leading technology in the field, and will not have to submit to the standards of other countries," an unidentified researcher was quoted as saying.

Thursday, November 02, 2006



DVB-H : Global Mobile TV

DVB-H, the specification for bringing broadcast services to battery-powered handheld receivers, was formally adopted as an ETSI standard in November 2004. This is the offcial DVB-H website maintained by the DVB Project Office.

YouTube hopes to be on mobile devices in 2007 | Technology | Internet | Reuters.co.uk

YouTube Inc., the popular online video sharing site, said on Wednesday it hopes to launch a service for wireless devices within a year.

Chad Hurley, YouTube chief executive and co-founder, told an advertising conference that offering video services on mobile phones was a key opportunity for the company.

"Within the next year we hope to have something on a mobile device, it's going to be a huge market, especially for the video mind-set we're dealing with, it's a natural transition," said Hurley.

Hurley was speaking at the OgilvyOne Digital Summit in one of his first public engagements since the announcement last month that Internet search leader Google Inc. is to buy YouTube for $1.65 billion (865 million pounds).

In May, YouTube launched its YouTube To Go service to enable users to upload clips directly from their mobile phones to view on the Web site on their personal computers.

Already many of the clips seen on YouTube are captured by users with their cellphones. A new mobile service could enable users to share videos with others in the YouTube community directly via their phones.

London L-Band Trial : Mobile Media Solutions : Services & Products : Arqiva

South Korea and the UK have today come together to announce technology advances and trial plans for mobile data broadcasting over DAB (digital audio broadcasting).

Partners from both countries have joined forces at a seminar in Westminster to announce details of the trial that will show how two enhancements of the DAB platform can be used to broadcast television and other multimedia applications to mobile devices using existing spectrum.

Arqiva supports BSkyB technical trial of MediaFLO mobile TV technology : 2006 - Press Releases : Press Releases : Press Office

Arqiva supports BSkyB technical trial of MediaFLO mobile TV technology : 2006 - Press Releases : Press Releases : Press Office

Nokia - Mobile TV Forum - Resources

Nokia - Mobile TV Forum - Resources

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mobile TV: the road to mass market

Per Nordlöf, head of Ericsson's mobile TV strategy, believes a fragmented market is inevitable when it comes to broadcast technologies. "We can see Mediaflow in the US and DVB-H in Europe," he says. "However, MBMS can potentially function wherever you have 3G, so it will be the only true global standard."

Unlike other standards, which require a completely new mobile TV-broadcast network, MBMS can be built on to existing 3G networks. As Nordlöf says: "Operators can use the same business model and, as they own the spectrum, they – rather than telecom regulators or broadcasters – are in control."

BBC and Sky dominate mobile TV market | Internet Marketing News and Blog | E-consultancy.com

The research, which tracked mobile content consumption at the channel, website and content title level, found the most popular services among mobile TV and video users were BBC1 (33%) and Sky Sports (29%).

The BBC also secured the top spot in the mobile internet space, with 28% of mobile web users visiting the site, while Sky Sports was again second with 23%.

Freescale Mobile TV Tuner Surpasses One Million Units Shipped

The Freescale tuners are part of a front-end reference design providing DVB-H connectivity in a wide variety of consumer products. The DVB-H tuner uses 270 mW during bursts, representing half the power of traditional tuners with a much smaller bill of materials. Additionally, Freescale’s DVB-H tuner has enhanced sensitivity allowing consumers to receive quality service even in fringe areas of coverage, a critical requirement for DVB-H applications.

S-band Mobile TV Gains Ground

The Alcatel mobile TV solution, using the S-band for terrestrial and satellite coverage, appears to be making solid progress in Europe. The French vendor has signed an agreement with Samsung to provide compliant terminals and satellite operator Eutelsat has confirmed its decision to have an S-band payload on the W2A satellite, which is scheduled to launch in early 2009.

Newport Media launches 'lowest-power' single-chip mobile TV receiver

Initially focused on the DVB-H market, Newport Media’s Sundance Series family is also expected to support other air interface standards including terrestrial-digital multimedia broadcasting (T-DMB), integrated services digital broadcasting-terrestrial (ISDB-T) and MediaFLO.