Orange and T-Mobile to pilot new mobile TV broadcast service

Orange and T-Mobile have announced that they intend to jointly pilot a new mobile TV and multimedia broadcast service in London using NextWave Wireless' UMTS MBMS based TDtv solution.

The pilot, scheduled for the second half of 2008, will be targeted at people living or working in West London and, according to Orange and T-mobile, will demonstrate how the cost of providing high-quality, mass market mobile TV and multimedia broadcast services can be significantly reduced when mobile operators share widely-available unpaired 3G spectrum and a standards-based TDtv broadcast network.

It will also showcase an innovative consortium model that can be easily replicated by mobile operators in more than 50 other countries where unpaired 3G spectrum is available.

During the six-month pilot Orange and T-Mobile UK customers will use TDtv-enabled WCDMA handsets to receive up to 24 high-resolution television channels along with 10 digital radio stations.

Mobile network operators in Europe and the Asia Pacific who also own unpaired UMTS spectrum will be invited to participate in the pilot as observers. In addition, leading handset manufacturers who can make TDtv a standard feature in their devices will also be invited to observe the pilot. During the pilot, the companies intend to show that when mobile network operators, content providers and technology companies work together with MBMS technology, mobile TV costs can be significantly reduced.

Paul Jevons, Product and Innovation Director, Orange said: "Orange was the first UK network operator to introduce a mobile TV service in May 2005, and is continually looking for unique insights and innovative content to ensure that Orange Mobile TV continues to grow and develop in a way that offers the best available standard of service for our customers. The results from the technical trial of TDtv in Bristol last year were extremely encouraging, and this joint pilot of the service in London is an excellent opportunity for us to properly explore the great potential available to our customers from the technology.

Orange Mobile TV already offers a broad range of content including the major terrestrial channels BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, as well as Sky and most recently Setanta allowing Orange mobile TV customers to see live coverage of every televised match from the Barclays Premier League."

T-Mobile UK Technical Director, Emin Gurdenli, said, "We are committed to widening the appeal of our Mobile TV offering, from the point of view content and user experience. Last year, we revamped our offering with the addition of three Sky Mobile TV packages and eight BBC TV and radio channels to provide customers with more choice. On a technical level, our involvement with this TDtv pilot is intended to raise awareness of the potential of broadcast mobile TV and help stimulate the development of an industry-wide ecosystem in which operators, handset manufacturers and content providers collaborate to realize a robust commercial proposition. TDtv uses part of the licensed 3G spectrum which is unused at the moment and is a technology that can scale to support high simultaneous usage levels without any degradation in quality. This solution would be ideal for broadcasting live, large sporting events such as the 2012 Olympic Games to high population densities."

The pilot will be powered by an end-to-end mobile broadcast solution developed by NextWave Wireless that will include TDtv network infrastructure based on the 3GPP UMTS TDD MBMS standard. NextWave will also provide a TDtv Device Integration Pack, a complete chipset and software package that enables handset vendors to quickly add TDtv to any multimedia enabled WCDMA handset. In addition, NextWave's Packet Video (PV) subsidiary will provide a complete Electronics Programming Guide that will integrate the TDtv service with the operators' existing 3G services. PacketVideo will also provide the pilot its new MediaFusionTM platform, a white-label, client-server software application that allows mobile operators to rapidly develop and launch on-device portals for rich media services, including music-on-demand, personalized streaming radio, live TV, and video-on-demand.

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