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Mobile digital TV alliance formed

Posted: 25 Jan 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Spencer Chin?

A group of wireless and electronics companies have banded together to form an alliance to promote the growth and evolution of handheld digital video broadcasting (DVB-H) in North America.

Called the Mobile DTV Alliance, the group, initially comprised of Intel Corp., Motorola Inc., Nokia Inc., and Texas Instruments Inc., expects to define open standards and promote best practices for delivering premium TV broadcasts to mobile devices.

Broadcasters and equipment providers have been promoting mobile TV as the next big trend in mobile phones. According to IDC research analyst David Linsalata, mobile TV trials and deployments are expected to accelerate over the next 12 to 18 months.

"There's no dispute about the role of mobile TV," said Rob Bero, director of broadcast technologies for Motorola Mobile Devices, during a webcast early this week (Jan. 23).

Yoram Solomon, director of strategic marketing and industry relations for TI's Mobile Connectivity Solutions, said during the webcasts that 41 percent of users polled in trials said they would be willing to purchase mobile TV service.

Solomon added that the DVB-H standard, an open procedure standard, was the most expedient way to bring mobile TV to reality, given the fact that over 100 companies are working on DVB-H components, devices, and services.

Besides allowing the reception of TV signals, DVB-H is expected to benefit operators by preserving the cellular network bandwidth for voice and other data services.

The jury remains out on how quickly the Mobile DTV Alliance can propel the technology to commercial reality. For one, the group has decided to focus its efforts on North America and not globally, which Solomon said was done in the interest of getting the U.S. mobile TV market going first. Efforts to promote mobile TV elsewhere are expected to follow.

During the webcast, Solomon also brushed aside possible concerns about ownership of patent rights for mobile TV, stating that a number of different interests had a stake in the fledgling industry and "who holds the patents is not important."

- Spencer Chin
EE Times

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