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Mobile TV


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:

  • implementing delivery of broadcast streams in a mobile network,
  • delivery through a terrestrial broadcasting network,
  • delivery of broadcast streams via satellite.

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.

Broadcasting in mobile networks

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.

Terrestrial mobile broadcasting

There are a number of terrestrial broadcasting technologies that can be used to deliver video and television programs to mobile handheld devices:

  • DMB: Digital Multimedia Broadcasting
    DMB is an extension of the Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) system to enable the delivery of multimedia, including video, via the originally audio-only DAB network.
    DMB is mainly used in Europe and Korea.
  • DVB-H: Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld
    DVB-H is an extension of the DVB-T standard for video broadcasting via a terrestrial network. DVB-H is optimized for the delivery of video to mobile handheld devices.
    DVB-H is used in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • MediaFLO: Media Forward Link Only
    MediaFLO is a proprietary standard of Qualcomm for the multicasting of real-time streaming media and non-real-time content or data from Qualcomm. MediaFLO is based on FLO technology. FLO uses a limited number of high-power transmission towers to deliver the content to the mobile terminals. The transmission is based on OFDM. FLO uses a frequency channel in the 700 MHz band in the U.S. It can make use of other bands as well.
  • ISDB-T Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting - Terrestrial
    ISDB-T is the system used in Japan to deliver digital TV services to the home. ISDB-T can also be used to deliver TV to mobile devices.

Mobile satellite broadcasting

There are also u number of mobile satellite broadcasting systems that can be used for the broadcasting of televison programs. These include:

  • S-DAB: Satellite - Digital Audio Broadcasting
    Just as terrestrial DAB (T-DAB), it is possible to adapt the S-DAB system for the delivery of multimedia including video.
  • S-DMB: Satellite - Digital Multimedia Broadcast
    S-DMB is a broadcasting overlay network for UMTS. It uses the IMT-2000 satellite bands.
  • MBSAT: Mobile Broadcast Satellite
    MBSAT is a Japanese digital satellite broadcasting satellite system for the delivery of audio, video and data services to cars and mobile terminals.


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