Satellite Solution for Mobile TV?

David Murphy

While the European Mobile TV market is on the verge of significant growth, it still faces problems related to the efficient transmission and distribution of Mobile TV services. This being the case, recent and emerging studies have clearly shown the use of satellite technologies for Mobile TV services to be a sensible and cost-effective solution. Hence, the use of satellite services can be expected to significantly aid the sustainable growth in spread, quality and reliability of Mobile TV service offerings.
This is the conclusion of new analysis from Frost & Sullivans Space & Communications Group,   European Mobile Satellite TV Markets, which finds that that the market earned revenues of $1.92 million (1 million) in 2007 and estimates this to reach $3.28 billion in 2014.
European Mobile Satellite TV Markets is part of the Space & Communications Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in Commercial Geostationary Transponder Markets for EMEA, NAM and Asia and Eastern European VSAT Markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
As Mobile TV services continue to grow across Europe, customers and operators require a reliable and pervasive service coverage, which can transmit high-quality, dedicated programs, notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Natalie Bentz. The distribution and transmission by satellite, through the hybrid network or backhaul, will both greatly contribute to the success of Mobile TV, by providing what the industry and the customers ask for.
The hybrid network solution for Mobile TV offers great potential in terms of distribution, says Frost, answering the operators and customers needs for reception in urban and rural areas, as well as indoor and outdoor settings. It adds that the utilization of the S-band, which will be allocated European Union-wide, will reduce spectrum difficulties that could be experienced when using other frequencies.
The report also says that using satellite backhaul for the distribution of Mobile TV has fundamental advantages, as backhaul is a known solution for data and video applications. Another advantage is that, in contrast to the direct/hybrid satellite solution in the S-band, this model is not affected by the standardization problem. Further, as this solution does not involve a direct link from the satellite to the end user, no specific devices or chipsets are needed.
The study notes, however, that both hybrid network and satellite backhaul solutions face some problems in the market, including competing alternatives through terrestrial networks.
By the time of the scheduled availability of the satellite segment for the hybrid solution, terrestrial alternatives will already have established themselves in some markets, says Bentz. The solution of satellite backhaul faces problems related to the bandwidth hungriness of Mobile TV applications.
Overall, the example of the Mobile TV market in Italy shows that there is still significant room for improvement, and that the hybrid network solution can bring just that, as customers require a high level and spread of service coverage and quality.
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