DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld), the technology being used by 02 and Arqiva for their Mobile TV trials in Oxford, will emerge as the preferred standard for Mobile TV in Europe, according to industry analyst Frost & Sullivan.
In a report just released, Mobile TV Market in Europe which is part of Frost & Sullivans ICT-Wireless subscription service, the company acknowledges that Mobile TV will be delivered over a variety of standards and technologies in the next couple of years, including Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), Terrestrial-Digital Media Broadcast (T-DMB), (DVB-H) and Cellular Multicasting. But as the market matures, the company believes, the need to migrate Mobile TV delivery to a common and more capable platform will see DVB-H win out.
The fight for the Mobile TV standard in Europe will be won not by the first standard introduced in the market, but by the most efficient, economical and future-ready one, even if it (DVB-H) is a few years down in line says Frost & Sullivan ICT Industry Analyst, Pranab Mookken. DVB-H is likely to become the European standard and delivery mechanism for Mobile TV in Europe by 2010, as it perfectly complements the existing digital TV standard and is likely to solve the spectrum allocation issues in the preferred UHF band.
In Frost & Sullivans view, the completion of migration from analogue to digital standards across Europe will create demand for the DVB-H UHF spectrum. And due to its synergies and ability to backward integrate with its fixed terrestrial counterpart, Digital Video Broadcast-Terrestrial (DVB-T), DVB-H is the only standard with the capacity to accommodate the mature Mobile TV market of the future. Also, the report says, the availability of DVB-H UHF spectrum will coincide with the period when existing 3G operators in Europe will be nearing subscription maturity on their cellular networks and looking to migrate their video services to a complimentary network for the future.
Frost & Sullivan also believes that competition for DVB-H could come from the Satellite-DMB (S-DMB) and T-DMB systems being used in South Korea. S-DMB uses a combination of satellite and terrestrial repeaters to transmit, while ST-DMB uses just a densely-covered terrestrial tower network. Of the two, T-DMB has greater industry support, and is the more affordable option, the company believes.
"Since they are already available, broadcasters and operators may consider the use of DAB-IP and T-DMB delivery mechanisms for the interim period before the introduction of DVB-H says Mookken. "Also, successful trials over DAB-IP and a readily available Mobile TV packaged product from BT Movio could tempt operators to experiment with these alternatives."
While evaluating standards that mobile operators are likely to use, the report says, service providers need to decide where and how well Mobile TV, as well as other broadcast services, fit into their larger company goals. They also need to adopt technologies and standards which allow for easy migration and evolution.
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