A group of companies have formed the Mobile DTV Alliance, which “aims to encourage open standards for TV broadcasts to mobiles, focusing on the North American market”. That roughly translates to fighting Qualcomm and its MediaFLO technology on its home turf. The companies in the alliance (as listed in the story) are Nokia, Intel, Motorola, Texas Instruments and Modeo (owned by Crown Castle). The article points to “more than 10 DVB-H network trials are under way or have been completed”, and said that “most major U.S. markets are expected to have DVB-H infrastructure ready for use by 2007″…there is some indication that the MediaFLO network will be commercially operational in mid-2006.
TMCNet also has the story with a bit more info on the intent of the alliance. “DVB-H is a standard, but there are a lot of options within that standard, Solomon said. Unless everyone supports the same set of parameters, there won’t be interoperability. We’re here to facilitate that…The alliance will define an end-to-end spec for DVB-H that carriers, vendors and content providers would all reference when designing equipment, handsets and networks. They also could set certification guidelines in a manner similar to groups like the WiMAX Forum.”
The group is focussing on the US because of the different way of delivering mobile TV — US telcos will rely on third-parties to deliver broadcast mobile TV whilst in other parts of the world (Europe is mentioned, but it’s also the case in many Asian countries) the telcos use their own spectrum to deliver the service themselves.
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