Telecom Biggies Join To Trial New Mobile TV Technology

Three leading telecom firms O2, Orange, and Vodafone have announced an initiative to jointly pilot a new mobile broadcast system capable of delivering data intensive services such as mobile TV in a more efficient way. Provided by Ericsson, IPWireless, and Streamezzo, the new Integrated Mobile Broadcast (IMB) technology has been recently approved by the GSMA. This 3GPP broadcast solution can seamlessly link with traditional unicast or on-demand services delivered over 3G. The pilot, which will run for three months commencing in October 2010 in central London and Slough, will assess how mobile broadcast services can be deployed using shared network infrastructure. The mobile operators are exploring using the IMB wireless technology within a little used tranche of 3G spectrum called Time Division Duplex (TDD) spectrum. This spectrum already forms part of the 3G licences held by many European mobile operators, but has remained largely unused because of a lack of appropriate technology. The pilot will demonstrate the capabilities of IMB in delivering both live streaming video and offloading traffic from existing 3G networks by broadcasting and storing popular content on the device. This technology has the potential to deliver a compelling “user experience at lower cost than conventional solutions,” explain the operators. Thierry Bonhomme, EVP incharge of networks, carriers and R&D at Orange further adds,  “Network capability is key for mobile TV roll-out and IMB will enable more operators to maximize the benefits they get from 3G investments with high quality TV service deployments on an efficient, pragmatic and scalable solution that works from country to country.”

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