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Showing posts with label Mobile TV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mobile TV. Show all posts

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Case Study: LTE for real time news gathering by Sky News

Back in May, I had the pleasure of listening to a talk by Richard Pattison from Sky News where he talked about how they have managed to start replacing their Satellite trucks (which are extremely expensive to own and run) with the new solutions using LTE.

One of the advantage of LTE over 3G/HSPA+ is that the uplink is as good as the downlink which wasn't really the case in earlier generations. What this means is that you can use your phone to do a live video call and use that for broadcasting of real time information. The Sky News Tech team has some interesting tweets on this.




An example of the video quality could be seen from this clip here:

The Dejero App is an interesting one that can allow bonding of Cellular + WiFi and provide a combined data rate.


I was having a discussion yesterday on Twitter because we term this bonded cellular and WiFi as 4.5G. There are many proprietary solutions available for using them together but the standardised one is coming in standards soon.

Sky news have managed to set up new standards by having 12 feeds simultaneously broadcasting  (all based on Iphones and Ipads) during the European elections.



All this has been possible due to an amazing 4G network by EE and being able to negotiate a 500GB (0.5TB) data package.


Anyway, you can read the complete paper below:



Thursday, 26 June 2014

LTE-Broadcast: Reality check


When I wrote my blog post about why the 'Cellular Broadcast may fail again' for the Cisco SP Mobility blog, I did not realise that this would become so popular and there would be so many people writing to me to tell me why and how my assumptions are wrong and how they plan to succeed. I have not yet received a successful reasoning on why people disagree with my article and where I am wrong.

In the Video Over LTE Summit just concluded, I did not get a chance to see all the LTE-B presentations but the ones that I saw, were not convincing enough, except for one by Erol Hepsaydir, of '3' UK, that I explain in the end.

Here is my presentation from that event:



The conclusion is not self-explanatory so here it is in my own words.


I am not opposed to the operators trying LTE-B out. I wish more operators do try and hopefully we can have a model where the technology can succeed. When operators succeed in a new technology, it benefits the whole mobile ecosystem directly or indirectly. The operators have to be prepared that they may not see any return. This should not discourage them because the learnings from this may benefit in something else. The customer and their loyalty is more important. We should try and provide them with a value addition rather than think of this as a new source of revenue. People are not interested in watching the same stuff they watch on the terrestrial TV on their small devices; unique and maybe tailored content would help. Finally, don't make the billing model too complex so the users shy away from trying this new technology.

The final presentation of the event was delivered by Erol Hepsaydir of the UK operator '3'. He said that from their point of view, they are trying to have eMBMS to create additional capacity in the network. If they know that many people watch news on different apps and websites, they can offer this as a free service over broadcast. What this means is that they have gained customer loyalty and also free up the capacity for other users who are doing other data related activities. I think this is a very clever approach. He did mention though that they are only in the simulation stages and have not tried it out practically. 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Internet Trends 2014, by Mary Meeker



Its June, time for the Internet Trends update by Mary Meeker, KPCB. Last year's update has crossed 3 million views on Slideshare. So many interesting slides, difficult to pick up some of the best ones to add here. I have selected a few that I really liked. The first being the growth in Smartphones and Tablets, as compared to PC's and Television's.



The other very interesting point to highlight is that the number of SMS's are decreasing and the number of OTT messages are rising. Just two days back, BITKOM, Germany released the news that SMS's are declining drastically in Germany. OTT's are taking over, rightly so.



Finally, with people doing too much multi-tasking, the above slide highlights what people are doing while watching TV.

Here is the complete set of slides:



Related news on the web:

  • Forbes: Are We In A Tech Bubble? Not Really, According To Mary Meeker's Latest Report
  • Business Insider: Mary Meeker's Stunning 2014 Presentation On The State Of The Web
  • Quartz: Mary Meeker’s 2014 internet trends report: all the slides plus highlights
  • Forbes: Mary Meeker's Web Video Love Affair
  • Guardian: Mary Meeker: 2015 will be about 'findable data' and mobile sensors
  • Business Insider, Australia: In 3 Big Slides, Here's Why Mary Meeker Is Optimistic About The Future Of American Healthcare
  • Tech2: What Mary Meeker’s 2014 trends report says about India’s Internet usage


Thursday, 10 April 2014

LTE-Broadcast of the operator, by the operator, for the operator!

Heard an insightful talk from EE in the CW event this week. While I agree with the intentions and approaches, I still think there may be too many assumptions in the eMBMS business model. I have made my intentions known all but too well in my earlier blog post here.

Some of the insights that I have gained in the last couple of months with regards to the way operators are planning to use the LTE broadcast is through the OTT Apps. Take for instance an OTT application like iPlayer or Hulu and some popular program is about to be broadcast, that program can be sent using LTE-B. Now some people may watch on the time (linear) and some may watch at a later time (non-linear or time-shifted). The App can be intelligent enough to buffer the program so there is no delay required when the user wants to watch it. This can open all sorts of issues like the user may have watched one episode on his device while the current one is being watched on his digital television. While the program is being buffered the battery and memory of the device is being consumed. How long should a program be stored on the device. There can be many other open issues.

Another question I had was how would the users be billed for these things. Would it be free since the data was received over LTE-B. Matt Stagg from EE said that the users would be billed normally as if they received it in case of streaming. He was more pragmatic though. He clearly said that in the initial phase everything would have to be free. This will ensure that any technical issues are ironed out and at the same time the users become familiar with how all this works.

Finally a point worth remembering, users prefer watching videos on their tablets. Most tablets are WiFi only which means the LTE-Broadcast wont work on it.

The presentation is embedded as follows:



Wednesday, 8 January 2014

LTE-Broadcast (eMBMS) may fail again

I recently wrote a blog post for the Cisco SP Mobility blog on why the Cellular Broadcast may fail again (complete article embedded below). My main point is that small screen devices are not really suitable for mobile TV kind of applications. The larger devices like tablets are but since they do not contain the (U)SIM card, its not possible for them to receive cellular broadcast signals.

Anyway, I came across this picture below from the recent Ericsson Mobility report:

This highlights my point that more people are now preferring to watch videos over the tablets as compared to the smaller smartphone screens. Even though the other diagrams in the article does show a significant amount of users using their smartphones for viewing movies and long clips, my belief is that this will reduce over the time as the tablet share increases



A recent Business Insider article says that "One In Every 5 People In The World Own A Smartphone, One In Every 17 Own A Tablet". Once the users move to using bigger screens, their preferences on how they watch videos will definitely change.

A real interesting chart would be to show users viewing habits based on the screen size. Phablets are generally classified as smartphones but can be substitutes for tablets in many scenarios. They could definitely help the Mobile TV viewing habits on the smartphones.

Anyway, here is the complete article:



Monday, 29 April 2013

NTT Docomo gives another shot to Mobile TV

Couple of news items from earlier this month from Japan about the nottv Mobile TV service. First was that it celebrated its 1st anniversary. The second is that it has racked up 700,000 subscribers; less than a million that it was expecting. I have posted in the past about attempts by various parties on Mobile TV that was unsuccessful. You can read more about that here and here.

One of the ways Mobile TV can provide additional value as compared to the normal TV is through audience participation. NOTTV is working to be able to provide this feature in future. Also it uses the ISDB-Tmm standard for broadcast. Hopefully in future when eMBMS is more popular, it may be used to transmit Mobile TV data as well. A picture showing the difference between the ISDB-T and ISDB-Tmm is shown below (from the presentation here)


A magazine article on NOTTV from the NTT Docomo magazine is embedded as follows:


Friday, 25 March 2011

3GPP – DVB Workshop for Next generation Mobile TV standards

TSG RAN and TSG CT hosted a joint workshop with DVB project on commonalities between DVB-NGH and eMBMS

The workshop was opened by the RAN Chairman Mr. Takehiro Nakamura on Wednesday 16th March 11:07. This is the joint session between TSG RAN, TSG CT and DVB project expert. TSG CT Chairman Mr. Hannu Hietalahti reminded that the workshop can't make any formal decisions that would be binding on either 3GPP side or DVB project side. Any agreement needs to be confirmed in DVB project and 3GPP separately. From 3GPP side this needs to be done by 3GPP TSG RAN and 3GPP TSG CT meetings during this week. The goal of the workshop is to find a common agreement how to proceed the future work on DVB-NGH and eMBMS convergence and decide the best way forward. The joint session is expected to make recommendations to TSG SA #51 based on the service requirements for DVB-NGH and the commonalities with eMBMS that can be identified. TSG SA #51 will decide the best way forward on 3GPP side.

The MBMS presentation was embedded in this post. The DVB presentation is embedded below:



The minutes of the meeting are available here: http://3gpp.org/ftp/tsg_sa/TSG_SA/TSGS_51/Docs/SP-110185.zip

All the documents from this workshop are available here: http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/workshop/2011-03-16_RAN-CT-DVB/

It was agreed that for any 3GPP work the normal 3GPP working procedures should be used. The supporting 3GPP member companies were requested to initiate Study items in the appropriate 3GPP working groups with the aim of sending them for approval during the next Plenary cycle.

It was noted that 3GPP Rel-11 stage 1 is going to be frozen in September 2011. It was seen 3GPP DVB-NGH can be a part of Rel-11 if there are interest in 3GPP community. The interesting companies are expected to contribute according to 3GPP working procedures.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

3GPP Official 'MBMS support in E-UTRAN' - Mar 2011

Last month I blogged about the MBMS feature in Rel-9. The 3GPP official presentation on MBMS is now available. Embedded below:

Presentation can be downloaded from Slideshare.

This presentation was a part of Joint one hour session of 3GPP RAN and 3GPP CT on March 16th 2011, 11.00 am – 12.00 p.m. More on this coming soon.

Friday, 22 October 2010

IMB and TDtv (and DVB-H)

Its long time since I blogged about TDtv. Its been quite a while since I heard about TDtv. Apparently its been superseded by IMB, aka. Integrated Mobile Broadcast.



IMB is used to stream live video and store popular content on the device for later consumption. This results in a significant offloading of data intensive traffic from existing 3G unicast networks and an improved customer experience. The multimedia client features an intuitive electronic program guide, channel grid and embedded video player for live TV viewing and video recording. All IMB applications can be quickly and cost-effectively adapted to support all major mobile operating systems and different mobile device types, including smartphones, tablets and e-readers.

IMB was defined in the 3GPP release 8 standards, and was recently endorsed by the GSMA as their preferred method for the efficient delivery of broadcast services. In June 2010, O2, Orange and Vodafone – three of the five major UK mobile operators – announced that they have teamed up for a three-month trial that will explore IMB wireless technology within a tranche of 3G TDD spectrum.

This spectrum already forms part of the 3G licenses held by many European mobile operators, but has remained largely unused because of a lack of appropriate technology. Currently, 3G TDD spectrum is available to over 150 operators across 60 countries, covering more than half a billion subscribers. IMB enables spectrally efficient delivery of broadcast services in the TDD spectrum based on techniques that are aligned with existing FDD WCDMA standards. This enables a smooth handover between IMB and existing 3G networks.

Issues that previously limited uptake of IMB, or IPWireless' tdTV system, have now all been addressed. Namely, the standard now allows for smooth handover between IMB and unicast delivery; has the potential to be integrated onto a single W-CDMA chip rather than requiring a separate chip; and has resolved interference issues with FDD W-CDMA, at least for spectrum in the 1900MHz to 1910MHz range.

IP Wireless already had a trial at Orange and T-Mobile in the UK (which have just agreed to merge), but in that pilot each 5MHz segment only gave rise to 14 TV channels per operator. The new standard could support 40 separate TV channels if two operators shared their TDD spectrum.

The GSMA announced its support and is backed up with additional support from both IPWireless and Ericsson as well as operators Orange, Softbank and Telstra.

There have been recently quite a few bad news for DVB-H and on top of that IP Wireless has announced that Samsung is going to be releasing phones with IMB support so it may be that we will see IMB sometime next year.

The GSMA paper that details IMB service scenarios and System requirements is embedded below:

Monday, 26 July 2010

Qualcomm probably given up on Mobile TV idea


Bad news for Mobile TV proponents and supporters.

Qualcomm apparently is in talks to sell off its struggling MediaFLO digital mobile TV business, executives said in a conference call on Wednesday.

The announcement came during the conference call accompanying Qualcomm's third-quarter earnings. Qualcomm reported net income of $767 million, up 4 percent from a year ago, on revenue of $2.71 billion, which decreased 2 percent over the same period a year ago.

During the call, Qualcomm chief executive Paul Jacobs announced the new direction for its MediaFLO business, a subsidiary of Qualcomm. MediaFLO brands its digital mobile television service as FLO TV. Qualcomm had saddled the business with a three-year, nonrefundable prepaid service agreement, which apparently hasn't helped MediaFLO's prospects.

"With respect to our FLO TV business, we're engaged in discussions with a number of partners regarding the future direction of the business," Jacobs said, according to a transcript by Seeking Alpha. "We are considering a number of alternatives and we will update you as appropriate."

This news comes at a time when Mobile TV business as a whole is not doing very well. Couple of weeks back I blogged about Mobile TV in China which has not been as successful as initially thought.

Qualcomm was one of the early proponents on another technology called MBMS. Couple of years back they decided to back MediaFLO and not focus much on MBMS. They bought the 700MHz spectrum in the US and launched nationwide TV network. This is also used by other carriers to deliver broadcasts to their devices.

In fact just a few months back they were pushing their standalone FLO TV device. Anyway, it seems they have probably given up on Mobile TV idea like a lot of others who dont see much return for the investment in Mobile TV. The average person is happy and content just to be able to watch Youtube on their mobile.

The following is from Rethink Wireless:

One option might be to shutter MediaFLO itself and sell on the licenses and tower assets - 700MHz is seen as beachfront spectrum in the US, and both Verizon and AT&T will build their initial LTE networks there. Jacobs made clear, in an interview with GigaOM, that he would rather keep MediaFLO as a content system. He said: "We want to see FLO continue so it's not like we'd want to sell the spectrum, but there are certainly people who would buy it for the spectrum. The spectrum is extremely valuable."

Qualcomm always intended to sell MediaFLO eventually - its usual route when it invests in spectrum and builds networks. The same pattern will be seen in India, where it will work with local partners to create a TD-LTE system in the 2.3GHz spectrum it recently acquired and then will sell the business on once established. However, it would have hoped to make more return on its investment in FLO before exiting. "We put FLO TV operations into our strategic investments for financial reporting because we always intended to get out of the operator business. …. It's not operating the way we want it to - it's not necessarily our core business, so we're looking at our options," Jacobs said in the same interview.


Friday, 16 July 2010

Mobile TV in China not as successful as initially thought


A wise consultant once told me that when the analysts were asking people if they would be interested in Mobile TV, nearly everyone said yes. What they didnt ask is what those people understood by Mobile TV. From a lot of users perspective, Mobile TV meant Youtube which is not what mobile community understands it to be.

Not long back we talked about Mobile and IP TV becoming popular in China. According to recent news in InformationWeek, it falling much short of expectations:

Commercial development of China's mobile TV service is falling far short of expectations. Of the 1.5 million users of China multimedia mobile broadcasting (CMMB), less than 3% are actually paying for the service, creating something of an embarrassment for China Mobile, the main backer of the standard.
CMMB was developed by the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) based on Satellite and Terrestrial Interactive Multiservice Infrastructure (STiMi) developed by TiMiTech, a company belonging to the Chinese Academy of Broadcasting Science. The standard was announced in October 2006 and is similar to Europe's Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld (DVB-H) broadcasting standard. Since then CMMB has been rigorously promoted by China Mobile and is bundled with its 3G network.
Sources say that by the end of the second quarter, 2010 domestic sales of CMMB handsets were around 1.5 million, approximately 30% of total 3G mobile phone sales at China Mobile, and much lower than the 50% target set by the operators. The service has been operational for more than a year but formal fees have only recently been introduced, which range from $1 to $3 per month. The small take-up of the service since fees were introduced does not bode well for the future of mobile television in China.
China Mobile was hoping to attract more paying customers with its World Cup offering, but this may have been wishful thinking. Analysts believe that the company's broadcasting and mobile communications divisions are lacking in unified policy and have no clear development path.
With widespread proliferation of cheaper "shanzhai" -- or copycat -- handsets, it is difficult to reach all potential customers. The CMMB technology is expensive and can only be found in specific dedicated smartphones.

Furthermore, there are more attractive and diverse streaming packages available from third parties. A clear advantage needs to be provided in order to entice users to use CMMB. China Mobile insiders say that they need to be following the advertising model used by mobile broadcasters in other countries because people are unlikely to pay for content, especially if they can find that content for free from a regular TV or desktop computer.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

MBMS, Digital TV and IP Triple Play in China

Apparently according to this report by Xuefei (Michael) Peng, MBMS is alive and kicking in China with around 200,000 users already. I cant find more info so if anybody who can fill more info is more than welcome.

The government of mainland China has formulated a general plan to launch triple-play services, integrating telecom networks, broadcast and TV networks, and Internet together.

From 2010 to 2012, China will focus on the trial integration of broadcast and TV services and telecom services (including Internet services), dealing with any related policies. From 2013 to 2015, based on the trial experience, China will promote the integration nationwide.

In the coming five years, various sectors will prepare in different ways to meet the goals stated in the general plan. Telecom operators such as China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom will invest more to promote IPTV services and accelerate FTTX deployment. Meanwhile, broadcast and TV operators will accelerate cable-TV network integration and interactive TV services development and will more actively develop value-added Internet services.

Broadcast and TV operators are currently strong in video content and wireless broadcast, while telecom operators own two-way fixed-line networks, mobile networks, and Internet services.

The differences between broadcast and TV operators across different regions and the uneven distribution of telecom fixed-line networks and mobile networks can offer cooperation opportunities.

Notably, almost all provinces of China already have launched IPTV services. The total number of IPTV service users in China has exceeded 5 million. However, problems with IPTV content must be solved, and the price for IPTV services also needs to be lowered to attract more users and compete with digital TV.

Meanwhile, the transformation of cable-TV networks from one way to two way has been sped up. Two-way cable-TV networks now cover over 24 million users. In the coming three years, broadcast and TV operators will invest over US$5 billion to continue to change 100 million one-way cable-TV links into two-way cable TV.

Eventually, through cable-TV networks, broadcast and TV operators hope to run Internet access services. This has been in trial use in some provinces. In order to run Internet access services, however, broadcast and TV operators need to rent bandwidth from telecom operators, greatly increasing the potential cost of service.

Another aspect of the triple play involves the conversion of mobile services to triple play. Mobile-phone TV is an emerging service in China. Up to now, mobile-phone TV services based on the China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting (CMMB) standard have reached 1.5 million users. However, the current CMMB standard only supports one-way communication. So the users can only receive broadcast-TV programs via mobile.

On the other hand, mobile services based on the broadcast multicast Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS) standard serve about 200,000 users. The growing 3G user base will convert to the MBMS standard. Additionally, the government policy will affect the mobile-phone TV market too. So it is not clear yet which mobile-phone TV standard will dominate the industry in the future.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Qualcomm's FLO on the go...

Qualcomm's FLO TV is a reality in the U. S. of A. This is the advert which was being shown in the Superbowl




Many popular channels like the CNN are available real time. The following is a review from CNET.




Not everyone is enthusiastic, which is understandable considering the high cost.

I remember reading a research couple of years back which said that users are willing to pay a maximum of £5 for any service like the Internet or Mobile TV over their phone. Personally I think that is right and maybe in the next few months we may see the subscription prices dropping.

I would be interested in hearing from people who have experienced the FLO service first hand.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

BBC and Ubiquisys stream multiple videos over a femtocell at MWC 2010



Impressive. I suppose they are four simultaneous PS dedicated calls as all other approaches (Like Mobile TV Broadcast technology and MBMS) would not be applicable for Femtocells (atleast for now).

Monday, 1 February 2010

Mobile Digital TV in US coming soooon (Q1 2010)

In 2007, transmission of full-motion digital television signals to mobile and handheld devices was proven technically feasible. Leaders of the broadcasting industry came together to make mobile digital television a reality; they formed the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) to accelerate the development and rollout of mobile DTV products and services, maximizing the full potential of the digital television spectrum.

Today the OMVC truly represents the industry, with members that own and operate more than 800 commercial and public television stations nationwide.

There was a lot of publicity of MDTV at the CES 2010 recently in Lag Vegas, USA. Here are few Youtube clips on MDTV.








There is also an interesting OMVC Mobile TV Use Cases document available here.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

MBMS and AMR-WB


Nokia publicly underlined its commitment to broadcast-mobile-TV standard DVB-H with the recent unveiling of the mobile TV edition of the Nokia 5330 and its pretax, presubsidy price tag of €155 (US$230), after some in the industry had questioned its enthusiasm for launching new DVB-H devices. Nokia also quelled any suggestions that it might start supporting the MBMS standard with its future device launches.

The price is a massive drop from the €550 price tag carried by Nokia’s last fully DVB-H-compatible handset, the N96, which launched in 3Q08. So the official line from Nokia is this: “All is well on the good ship DVB-H.”

Read more here.

Meanwhile, In China, China Unicom has launched 3G telecom services in 268 cities across the country, said Li Gang, another deputy general manger for Unicom Group, noting that the WCDMA network supports a 14Mbps download data transmission speed and a 7.2Mbps upload data transmission speed.

Notably, the carrier has adopted the most advanced R6 technology in its core WCDMA network to smooth a WCDMA-to-EPS migration in the future, according to Mr. Zhang.

The China Unicom network is expected to support MBMS and HSPA+64QAM technology in the first phase of a further evolution, shore up a HSPA+MIMO technology in the Phase II evolution, and prompt a LTE technology in the Phase III evolution, said Mr. Zhang, adding that the network will present a 100Mbps download speed and a 50Mbps upload speed after the Phase III evolution.

Read more here.
Back in September, Orange Moldova announced the launch of the world's first mobile telephone service offering high-definition (HD) sound. The service will provide customers with a significantly improved quality of service when making calls. Unlike for other mobile technologies such as multimedia capabilities, this is the first time since the 1990s that mobile voice technologies have been subject to a significant evolution.

This is the second step in Orange’s HD voice strategy, following on from the launch of a high-definition voice service for VoIP calls in 2006. Over 500,000 Livephone devices have already been sold in France and the range will be extended to other Orange countries over the coming months.

The first mobile handset integrating high-definition voice capability that will be launched by Orange Moldova is the Nokia 6720c. This innovative handset integrates the new WB-AMR technology, which is widely expected within the industry to become a new standard for mobile voice communications.

Thanks to the Adaptive Multi Rate-WideBand (AMR-WB) codec, double the frequency spectrum will be given over to voice telephony over traditional voice calling. Orange boasts that the result is "near hi-fi quality" and "FM-radio quality", which seems an odd comparison.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

eMBMS: Naughty after 11pm ;)


I have blogged about MBMS in past about how it didn't take off even though it was a promising technology. Now you may probably be aware that eMBMS is part of Release-9. I heard some interest in this feature.

The expectation is that the demand for data drops off later in the night after around 10pm. The operators may start some channels say after 11pm because the network will have lots of spare capacity that could be used for television channels. You could have late night movies, sports channels and adult channels.

An advantage of going eMBMS way would mean that even if you are roaming, you can have pay per view kind of approach as long as the other network is Release-9 compliant.

Interesting idea, not sure if it will take off.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

August 2009: Mobile TV Roundup



Qualcomm is slowly building content for its Flo TV mobile service for cell phones with the recent announcement that Discovery Communications launched a Shark Week Mobile Channel.
Discovery Channel’s Shark Week programs are scheduled to air on the
Flo TV service through Aug. 14.

Flo TV uses the analog spectrum previously occupied by television broadcasters, and offers programming from several of the large network brands. Flo TV President Bill Stone says he envisions expanding the service from cell phones to cars and other consumer electronics products.

Flo TV, however, is not the only mobile TV service. AT&T CruiseCast launched a satellite-based television service in cars June 1.

CruiseCast, which is really an AT&T logo slapped onto RaySat Broadcasting equipment and services, offers 22 TV channels and 20 satellite radio channels. Its satellite antenna is a fat disc the size of a Bundt cake affixed to the roof of a vehicle.

The service costs $28 a month, plus $1,300 for equipment, which requires certified installers who charge an additional $200-$300, says Jim Llewellyn, who demonstrated the service July 31 in San Diego.


If you feell you're missing out on The Ashes action, you can now watch the Ashes for free on your W995.

A 3-month pass for the Sky Mobile TV service now comes bundled with the device exclusively on the 3 Network.

With the service, you can watch eight made-for-mobile channels that use highlights content from the Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra channels. You’ll also be able to watch live matches right on your W995 too.

Australian cricketers Glenn McGrath and Matthew Hoggard appeared at the launch of the new bundle, and McGrath expressed his thoughts on the new bundle, saying ”the Sony Ericsson W995 on 3 is a real must for any dedicated cricket fan. To be able to access crucial games via Sky Mobile TV on the go, especially when a tournament like The Ashes is on is invaluable to me.”

After the initial 3-month period, Sky Mobile TV will cost you £5 a month. So, while the savings aren’t amazing, amounting to a whopping £15 in total, it’s still a great feature to have right now if you’re a cricket fan.



Testing of free mobile digital TV for cell phones, netbooks and other on-the-go devices is ramping up in the weeks ahead, and the first devices that can provide such broadcasts should be on store shelves by next year, according to the broadcaster-based group behind the effort.
"Just like you turn on your TV today at home and watch live and local broadcast television, you will turn on your handset and be able to watch live and local broadcast television," said Anne Schelle, executive director of the Open Mobile Video Coalition.

Trials are underway around the country in cities such as Chicago, New York and Raleigh, N.C. The biggest test pond will be Washington, D.C., where broadcasters have the attention of what may be the nation's most powerful audience — politicians. "We already have two stations on the air there, and we'll have the rest of our stations on air by next week," said Schelle.

Cell phones are probably the largest single group of devices that could receive local TV programming.

"There are 250 million of them out there," said Schelle. It's not clear whether wireless carriers are as enthusiastic.


MobileCrunch has picked up an interesting story from AV Watch - who themselves have spotted a USB tuner that plugs in to your TV, and then streams out 1-Seg (that’s a Japanese TV standard) formatted TV that your iPhone/iPod Touch can pick up via an App running over WiFi. Nice.

The iPhone has been at somewhat of a disadvantage for a time, because unlike a lot of other phones in Japan, it can’t natively pick up a TV signal - Japan is one of the places where Mobile TV has worked (but there are a number of specific reasons for that….), so this little bit of kit solves an issue for people who need their TV fix.

The USB device is called the SEG Clip, and is sold by I-O data it follows a previous device that was more of a standalone unit from Softbank Mobile - that one was it’s own receiver, transmitted the data by WiFi, but also double as an extra battery if you plugged it in to an iPhone.



WISH-TV today announced the expansion of its mobile offerings to include a new application for BlackBerry smartphones. This mobile application is the latest addition to 24-Hour News 8’s fully synchronized television and digital offerings that are available free of charge at www.wishtv.com .

WISH-TV unveiled its iPhone custom application with great popularity and much success in May 2009. In addition to these specialized applications, 24-Hour News 8 is also available via any web-enabled mobile device.

LIN TV , WISH-TV’s parent company, in conjunction with News Over Wireless (NOW) has developed the custom BlackBerry smartphone and iPhone applications for each of its 27 local television stations. Six LIN TV stations, including WISH-TV, launch the BlackBerry smartphone service today. LIN TV is the first in its local markets to provide instantaneous and on-demand access to its local news, sports and entertainment, as well as video, weather forecasts and traffic reports to BlackBerry smartphone subscribers.

Six LIN TV stations launched the BlackBerry service last week, including WISH-TV, WAVY-TV, KRQE-TV, WANE-TV, WALA-TV and KXAN-TV. LIN has been among the more aggressive broadcasters in the deployment of its content over nontraditional platforms.

Media Content and Communications Services (MCCS) has made its Hindi, Marathi and Bengali news channels -- STAR News, STAR Majha and STAR Ananda -- available on the mobile TV platform.

The content of all three channels will be streamed live, including the ads that appear during the news programmes. The content will be available on the 3G networks of MTNL and BSNL. However, the company claims that their mobile TV option will also be made accessible to subscribers of other telecom operators, who offer 2.5G services.

Currently, only two mobile operators -- BSNL and MTNL -- offer 3G services in India. The video content delivery process is faster on 3G mobile networks, as compared to 2.5G.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Mobile TV: Any Luck?

Mobile TV, once touted as 'the technology' does not yet seem to be having any luck.

Mobile television suffered another setback when the U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to delay the broadcast airwaves' long-planned transition to all-digital services from Feb. 17 to June 12, a move that effectively forces Qualcomm to postpone plans to increase its MediaFLO TV footprint until early summer. Qualcomm previously said it would turn on FLO TV service in more than 40 additional U.S. cities on Feb. 17, an expansion timed to coincide with a federal law mandating that all full-power television stations must terminate analog broadcasting on that date. The transition to digital television frees up the 700 MHz spectrum auctioned last year by the FCC--Qualcomm spent more than $500 million acquiring eight licenses during the auction, and hopes to serve about 200 million potential mobile TV subscribers in more than 100 U.S. markets by the close of 2009. But with the Nielsen Company estimating that 6.5 million American households remain unprepared for the switch to digital TV, and Congress mulling a stimulus package that includes as much as $650 million in financing for coupons to ease the transition, Qualcomm must now sit tight for four additional months.

According to a report from Nielsen Mobile, only 5% of all U.S. cell phone owners subscribe to a mobile TV service. Yet that number is the highest out of of all the other worldwide markets tracked by the company. Only France and Italy came close, each at 4 percent. According to Nielsen, mobile video use isn't more prevalent due to lack of differentiating capabilities, high cost, and lack of compelling content. In fact, we are now even seeing mobile video's plateau - a point where you would normally expect to see adoption slow considerably.

In the U.S., 10.3 million mobile phone subscribers watch video content on their mobile phones each month. These clips from mobile web sites, subscriptions delivered by the carrier, or through mobile "live" TV programming. But the mobile video subscription market has barely grown during the past year. In Q3 2007 it was at 6.4 percent and by Q3 2008 it was only 7.3 percent. And only 26% of subscribers who paid for mobile video services during the third quarter of 2008 used them at least once a month.

The Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), announced that a new mobile DTV service will soon arrive in 22 U.S. cities, covering 35% of U.S. television households. The mobile service aims to provide live, local and national over-the-air digital television to mobile devices.

Included in the service are 63 stations from the 25 major broadcasters that are on board. Those include NBC Television, Gannett Broadcasting, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Fox Television, Belo Corp., Grey Television, Scripps Television, Hearst Argyle Television, ION Media Networks and Lin Television.

This mobile TV service may succeed where others have failed because it bypasses the carriers altogether. Instead, the service uses an ATSC broadcasting system to beam signals directly from the station to the mobile devices themselves. This unburdens the carriers from having to support the data transmissions - they just have to sell the phones.

If France doesn't decide to go down the DVB-H route, there are many who think that could signal the end of the road for the mobile broadcast standard in most European markets
According to one industry commentator, there's a lot riding on the French. Our source, who would rather not be named, thinks that if the French market does not decide to follow the DVB-H standard this year, then that could be the end for the mobile broadcast standard in the region as a whole.


Certainly, the signs have not been good elsewhere - and the industry is dogged by accusations of self-interest. For example, despite operator pressure, Nokia, which sits on 40-50% market share in most European markets, has not moved as fast as the industry had hoped to push DVB-H and DRM technology into its handsets.

According to the head end vendors, and this is a surprisingly widely held view, the issue has been that Nokia has tried to tie the sale of its network infrastructure to the development of its handset range.

"Nokia is saying, give us the head end, and we will give you the handsets," one competing vendor told us.

The China Digital Television Terrestrial Broadcasting (DTTB) System Standard, also known as GB20600-2006, became the mandatory national DTTB standard in August 2007.

GB20600-2006 was designed to deliver a consistent, high-quality digital TV viewing experience no matter where consumers are sitting: in their living room watching television or on a high-speed train watching shows on their cell phones. The technology can broadcast audio and video at transmission rates of greater than 24 Mbps to consumer devices. Because the mobile reception capability is inherently built into the standard, these consumer devices now have a mobile TV feature that works not only when stationary, but even while traveling at speeds greater than 200 km per hour.

The China television market is in the midst of a broadcast revolution because of this new free-to-air terrestrial DTV standard. GB20600-2006 is spurring station owners to broadcast HDTV signals to TVs and set-top boxes, creating a market opportunity that is larger than any other in the world. With 380 million television households, China is home to more televisions than any other country in the world. And nearly 70 percent of those households receive their programming via roof-top antenna.

At the same time, the GB20600-2006 standard is creating a significant new market for mobile TV services. There are more than 600 million cell phone subscribers in China and nearly seven million new mobile phones are purchased each month. Now that the free-to-air HDTV broadcast signal has become a reality, manufacturers of cell phones and other handheld mobile devices are rushing to incorporate mobile TV reception into their products.

Technical details are available here.

China also has its mobile specific TV standard called the CMMB (China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting). Leading mobile TV chip-maker Siano Mobile Silicon's CMMB receiver chip, the SMS1180, has been selected to power CMMB mobile TV for leading Chinese phone-makers ZTE, Tianyu, CEC Telecom and MP3/4 giant AIGO.

The number of mobile TV subscribers in Korea grew by almost 60% in 2008 following aggressive marketing campaigns and the Beijing Olympics, reports the Yonhap News Agency.

The number of DMB users totalled 17.25 million at the end of 2008, up 59.9% from a year earlier, according to the Terrestrial-DMB Special Committee. South Korea started the world’s first DMB service in 2005, operated through terrestrial and satellite broadcasts.

According to the committee, which represents six service carriers, 15.4 million terrestrial DMB devices, including mobile phones, were sold as of the end of 2008, up 70% from the previous year. The number of subscribers to the satellite platforms (S-DMB) rose 45% annually to 1.85 million last year.

Telegent Systems announced that it has shipped more than 20 million mobile TV receivers since it launched the products in 2007.

The TV receivers have been rapidly adopted by consumers who want to watch the same TV on their mobiles that they enjoy on their home TVs.

Telegent’s receivers use the existing broadcast infrastructure, and allow consumers to watch local programming.

Telegent’s latest success is a deal with Telefónica Móviles Perú, to bring mobile TV to Telefónica’s ZTE i766 handset.

In order to continue its rapid growth, Telegent is expanding into the PC TV market in 2009 and adopting the digital standard DVB-T.