06 maggio 2008

La giungla degli standard di tv mobile digitale

Anche At&t Mobile lancia negli Stati Uniti il servizio MediaFLO, la tv mobile digitale che Qualcomm offre già in molte città americane sui canali UHF 56 e 58:
Qualcomm said it will use the wireless spectrum it acquired in the FCC's recent 700-MHz auction to expand the programming offered by MediaFLO, the live mobile-TV service it currently operates on UHF broadcast spectrum in 58 markets across the country.
Qualcomm spent $554.6 million to gain channel-56 spectrum in the Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco regions, complementing the channel-55 spectrum it already owns there and giving it a footprint of 12 MHz across much of the East and West coasts.
MediaFLO said it plans to work with Verizon Wireless, which has been marketing MediaFLO for just over one year, and AT&T, which will launch the mobile-TV service next month, to roll out second-generation mobile handsets that will be able to tune into both channels simultaneously and receive up to 40 streams of live video in total.
Ecco il comunicato AT&T, in cui vengono descritti i due telefonini MediaFLO-enabled, LG Vu e Samsung Access:
AT&T to Deliver MediaFLO USA's FLO TV Service in 58 Markets
New AT&T-Exclusive Handsets Designed for Mobile TV Viewing; AT&T Introduces CNN Mobile Live, PIX and CNCRT, a Special Concert Channel

San Antonio, Texas, May 1, 2008

We interrupt your scheduled programming with an important news bulletin: AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and MediaFLO USA Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), announced today the May 4 availability of the AT&T Mobile TV with FLO service. This powerful new mobile television service will provide around-the-clock access to some of today's most popular television programs — live and in color on the mobile phone.

To ensure an unmatched mobile television experience for consumers, AT&T is introducing two new exclusive handsets: the Vu from LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A. Inc. (LG) and the Access from Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung).

LG Vu: A sleek and stunning device, the Vu gives you a clear view of TV, Web, pictures or videos on its large interactive touch screen. It also lets you get the utmost in mobile entertainment with a music player, 2.0 megapixel camera and Bluetooth® capabilities. The LG Vu is available for $299.99 with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate.
Samsung Access: This stylish handset features a large landscape display, ideal for delivering a rich viewing experience and an internal antenna for exceptional reception. It's a great device for customers who are looking for advanced multimedia capabilities such as a camera, external stereo speakers, stereo Bluetooth, AT&T Music, CV, of course, AT&T Mobile TV. The Samsung Access is available for $199.99 with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate.
AT&T Mobile TV proves that big things come in small packages. The service will offer unmatched TV-quality programming from leading news and entertainment brands: CBS Mobile, ESPN Mobile TV, FOX Mobile, NBC 2Go, NBC News 2Go, MTV Networks' COMEDY CENTRAL, MTV and Nickelodeon, as well as PIX and CNN Mobile Live, which are both AT&T-exclusive channels on MediaFLO USA's FLO TV service
Nel frattempo, Peter White di Rethink Research, una società di ricerche di mercato britannica ha pubblicato un report sul potenziale di business dei 15, dicesi 15 diversi sistemi di trasmissione di tv mobile. Secondo le sue proiezioni, entro il 2012 si venderanno oltre 300 milioni di telefonini abilitati e gli operatori si focalizzeranno su una manciata di standard, con il DVB-H (e la evoluzione del DVB-T2) ben posizionati.
Over the past three to four years Mobile TV technologies have multiplied rather than consolidated, and despite an early dominant lead by DVB-H, in what seemed a two horse race with Korea’s T-DMB, there are now at least 15 separate Mobile TV technologies that operators can bring to bear. Chose the wrong one and you could end up down a business model blind alley.
At least 15 technologies can be used for Mobile TV apart from cellular unicast streaming. They are:

Unicast streaming – simple RTSP over a cellular link
DVB-H – A new network organized into a cluster of up to 20 channels
MediaFLO – Same as DVB-H with more up to date FEC
DAB IP – Using DAB radio transmitters to send IP packets
T-DMB – DAB with the H.264 codec added for video
TDtv – Nextwave offers separate transmitters for unpaired TDD spectrum, with multiple antennas and a $20 chip, works with MBMS multicast
MXtv – Similar to TDtv from the same company, but with WiMAX MBS
ISDB-T 1 seg – A 6 MHz TV channel broken into 13 segments, one for Mobile TV the others for HD or SD signals
CMMB STiMi – China’s hybrid satellite system using to separate frequencies to reinforce one another
MBMS – Pure cellular multicast broadcasting in existing cellular spectrum
BCMCS – The same multicast using CDMA cellular systems
ATSC M/H – US terrestrial system, out this year, with mobile signal
DVB-T2 – The new DVB-T replacement out in 2009, with mobile signal
DVB-SH – Alcatel’s satellite Hybrid with same software as DVB-H
S-DMB – Korea’s original satellite hybrid now overtaken by T-DMB

In the worlds of one investor “So it’s just a mess?” But while it might appear haphazard for operators, the world is settling on a handful of these technologies and they are being forced together into what will become a number of blended service types, working side by side on the same device.
Increasingly it is not the technology choice that is difficult to make – that is often dictated by local geography or local politics – instead the right business model is the hardest to grasp.
Across a number of key Mobile TV technologies a new report from Rethink Technology Research in the UK entitled “Searching for a Mobile TV Business Model” – Global Handset and Technology Forecast 2008 – 2012, predicts that 301million specialist handset devices which can receive one or other format of Mobile TV will be sold by 2012.
A further 60 million devices which are NOT handsets will be added to that, making total shipments of 361 million devices which can view Mobile TV. But that’s probably not the key important fact that comes out of this report. Handset transition is key to the emergence of Mobile TV services, and this is seen to be more than 3 times faster markets where a free to air Mobile TV business model is adopted.

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