Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mobile TV Spectrum Review

Rupert Goodwins comments on issues facing Mobile TV.

From the article:

"And while mobile TV needs much less spectral space than existing telly — because it can use more efficient digital encoding and because it can be optimised for the much smaller screens of hand-held devices — finding the right spectrum is one of the hardest problems to solve.

The ideal frequencies are those already used for UHF TV, a number of which will become available as countries switch over from analogue to digital transmissions.

Some operators already own or have control of individual bands in some countries; Qualcomm's MediaFlo being a case in point with its occupancy of 700 MHz — UHF TV channel 55 — in the US. It will be broadcasting multichannel TV on this and selling the service to other network operators. In the UK, O2 has been testing with DVB-H on UHF, a modified version of the existing terrestrial TV standard which is also Nokia's choice.

The proposition by IPWireless, TDtv, is to use allocated but unused 3G allocation — the unpaired frequencies. The unpaired is intended for asymmetrical services such as data, but is mostly unused. Because it's adjacent to the voice and data allocations its easy to modify existing base stations to transmit there, and of course licensing issues are eased. Other advantages are that it should be relatively easy and low-cost to include the extra radio in handsets, a problem that becomes more complex to solve the further away the TV band is from 3G, and that roaming will be easier."

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