Mobile TV is the delivery of streaming video and live television programs to moving handheld devices, such as a mobile phone or a PDA. Consumers will have the opportunity to watch the latest news, get traffic reports, watch sporting events or live television shows whilst on the move.
TV services on mobile phone can be delivered as video streams similar to the way streaming video is delivered over the internet. However, there is a downside to this kind of streamed video services over the network. Each individual user will have it own stream. That will take up a lot of bandwidth. This will diminish the overall capacity for voice and data of the network for all users. Therefore, it is not a technique that is suitable for the delivery of live television programs to large groups of users.
To give the mobile user access to a variety of live television programs a broadcast methodology has to be used. There are a number of different methods possible:
Regardless of the delivery mechanism, account has to be taken of the fact that the television program is displayed on a small screen on a device that runs on a battery and therefore has only limited power resources.
Both the originally European UMTS and the U.S. based CDMA2000 standard have the ability to deliver broadcasting and multicasting services in an efficient way to their mobile users. The first phase of Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Service (MBMS) can deliver 64 - 256 kbps streams over an UMTS network and 32 to 128 kbps streams over a GSM network. Broadcasting streams can use up to 30% of the capacity of the network. Additional improvements in the technology (such as HSDPA) will enhance the throughput and the quality of service. In CDMA2000 a somewhat similar technology called Enhanced BroadCast MultiCast Services (EBCMCS) is being standardized. EBCMCS has the possibility to make use of a new modulation technology in a CDMA2000 network that is based on OFDM.
There are a number of terrestrial broadcasting technologies that can be used to deliver video and television programs to mobile handheld devices:
There are also u number of mobile satellite broadcasting systems that can be used for the broadcasting of televison programs. These include: