Alsumaria launches DVB-H technology at Erbil International Fair

For the First Time in the Arab World, Alsumaria TV channel launches the new DVB-H Digital Video Broadcast technology that enables all the Iraqis to watch Alsumaria TV programs.
In the framework of its endeavors to progress and to keep pace with the new technologies, Alsumaria presents this service that allows the Iraqi viewers to watch all its programs on their mobile phone screen wherever they are. However, electricity shortage will not impede you anymore from watching your favorite TV shows, as thanks to DVB-H technology, your phone’s battery will be all what you need to watch Alsumaria at all times.
Alsumaria launched this new technology in Erbil International Fair 2007 which was inaugurated on Monday October 29 and that will last until November 2. Leading national and international companies participate in this fair which is expected to heave Kurdistan’s and Iraq’s economies.
This fair is expected as well to entice Arab and Foreign capitals. Kurdistan’s Prime Minister Nechirvan Barazani attended the Fair in addition to a huge number of Businessmen and investors who stressed on the importance of this Fair and on the role it plays in developing Kurdistan’s province economy. In fact, in the middle of the security progresses and challenges Erbil International Fair comes as a fundamental step in order to boost the economy.


Zee Moots Concept Of Universal Broadcaster For Mobile TV In India; Wants MediaFLO Barred

The Zee group has come out all guns blazing on the issue of allocation of licenses and spectrum for Mobile TV in India. The group has told the TRAI in comments submitted on Mobile TV that just having the capability to transmit TV content doesn’t mean that Telecom operators do not need a license for media sector services. Zee has mooted the concept of a Universal Broadcaster, allowing existing broadcasters to offer Mobile TV, making the case for DTH operators like Zee’s Dish TV to be automatically permitted to extend their transmission to mobiles and be granted spectrum. “Universal Access Service License (UASL) licensees” (like telcos), says Zee, should need a separate “Universal Broadcaster License”. In addition, licenses should be awarded only to those companies with a minimum of 10 years experience in running channels of all genres, with an experience of a minimum of three years of operating an encrypted Pay TV service in India. I think that rules out everyone apart from Zee.

Zee has also asked for Qualcomm’s MediaFLO to be barred since India has been following the DVB standards, and no spectrum for Telecom or WiMax operators. The group has advocated the use of terrestrial spectrum only, and that DTH operators be granted terrestrial transmitters so as to use both satellite frequencies and terrestrial transmission. In terms of Foreign Direct Investment into the mobile TV segment, Zee wants it to be in line with DTH operators—49% Foreign Equity Cap for the company, of which no more than 20% from any foreign investor in DTH Services—thus ruling out telcos, which have a 74 percent limit. Sony (NYSE: SNE) Entertainment Television (SET) however, wants 100 percent FDI to be allowed.


India : Cellular operators urge Govt. to go slow on Mobile TV

Cellular operators in the country have asked the Government to go slow on devising regulations on Mobile TV, saying that the technology is "nascent" and the customer behaviour still uncertain.

"This is a nascent business and therefore, no decision should be taken which will restrict the development of the market or foreclose technological options," the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has told the telecom and broadcast regulator TRAI.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had last month issued a consultation paper for the stakeholders on issues relating to mobile television.

"Various technology solutions are being tested in the global marketplace. It is also important to recognise that customer behaviour and demands are also evolving," the operators said.
Mobile TV essentially uses DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast to Hand-held devices) technology for broadcasting content on mobile handsets, or any DVB-H enabled devices such as palmtops, gaming devices or laptops.

However, other technology options for Mobile TV are also available such as 3G, MediaFLO, T-DMB, and S-DMB.

So far, only Doordarshan has announced its foray into using DVB-H technology on its terrestrial networks. Other telecom and broadcasters are also planning to enter the new media platform.
The operators pointed out that the popularity of I-pods has enabled the customers to download TV or video content to a PC and then transfer it to a mobile device for viewing later on.
"This time-shifting and location-shifting potential is obviously similar in some ways to a Mobile TV proposition," the COAI said, adding the technology will retain a distinctive niche in its ability to provide time-critical content, such as news and sports anywhere, anytime.

"How the customers would react and willing to pay for these propositions is uncertain and it needs to be tested in each market," the operators said in their recommendations sent to the regulator.

Seeking views of the stakeholders, TRAI had said a range of issues pertaining to the new media platform needed to be addressed before its full rollout.
These issues include the preferred technology for mobile television service, whether to use satellite or terrestrial broadcast system, the spectrum requirements for analogue, Digital and Mobile TV terrestrial broadcasting and the methodology to be adopted for frequency spectrum allocation.

The issues also included examining the prevailing international practice, eligibility criteria for the player, net-worth requirement, foreign direct and indirect investment levels, technology to be adopted, license fee, revenue sharing, entry fees and bank guarantee.


Fuzzy Reception for Mobile TV

Mobile TV viewing remains low in Europe and the U.S., but the rollout of mobile broadcast networks could boost usage.

Only 1 percent of mobile phone users across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. watched a video clip or commercial TV program on their mobile phone at least once in a month, according to M:Metrics Inc. 's most recent data for the three month period ending in August.

In the U.S., just 1.4 percent of mobile phone users say they view video clips or TV programs at least once per month, according to M:Metrics.
M:Metrics finds that the most popular mobile video content is user-generated videos sent by friends or family. In Europe, 4.2 percent of mobile users say they have watched this kind of video at least once per month, while 3.2 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers say they have watched these videos.

Early indications of users' experiences with these services is not terribly encouraging. According to a study conducted by the Mobile Entertainment Forum and LCC International Inc. , only 26 percent of mobile entertainment users are satisfied with their service. (See MEF Tackles Users and MEM Sizzles on the Riviera.)

Statistics from mobile operators themselves about their mobile TV services are hard to come by. Operators do not readily share much information how many mobile TV subscribers they have or how much revenue they make from content services.


TF1 (french TV) RoadMap and DVB-H

We can see on the picture when DVB-H could be launch in France in 2009


T-Systems to provide DVB-H broadcast services

T-Systems Media&Broadcast GmbH (TSMB), a subsidiary of the Deutsche Telekom Group, has obtained the frequencies necessary to operate a mobile TV broadcasting service based on DVB-H technology. The decision by the President's Chamber of Germany's Network Agency was announced in a statement by the regulatory authority in Bonn. "The assignment of DVB-H frequencies marks another important step for mobile TV in Germany," said Network Agency president Matthias Kurth on Monday in Bonn.

Kurth said that the tenders to operate the network had been reviewed by the regulator in accordance with established evaluation criteria. The Telekom subsidiary was the most suitably qualified to fulfil the legal and technical requirements of the call for tenders, he continued. The announcement means that the tender filed by the joint venture of the Burda and Holtzbrinck media groups and of MFD, which already offers DMB-based mobile TV, was unsuccessful.
The expansion of the broadcast network is scheduled to start in Hanover the spring of 2008. Kurth expects the first broadcasts to take place in time for CeBIT 2008, with coverage of the main cities in the other 15 German states in place by the end of the year. Starting in 2009, the network will be rolled out to provide coverage for all German towns with a population of over 150,000 as well as to each of the four largest cities in each state with a population of over 100,000.

Coverage should extend to 90 percent of the Germany population by 2015 assuming that DVB-H reaches a "commercially viable" penetration rate by 2013. However, this is by no means a foregone conclusion. Although DVB-H is the EU's officially preferred technology, it is up against the rival DMB standard used to transmit MFD's "Watcha" mobile TV service (marketed by Debitel and others), which was launched last year with only moderate success.
German mobile phone operators T-Mobile, Vodafone and O2 have formed a consortium to develop a common platform based on DVB-H technology. It remains to be seen which of the two standards will prevail, and indeed whether "handset TV" will be able to gain the popular support necessary to ensure its commercial survival.


Rugby World Cup 2007: live on DVB-H receivers

ENENSYS, in partnership with TF1, French major service provider, is currently enabling live transmission of 2007 sport event, the Rugby World Cup! At TF1 premises, games starring the French Team, but also 1/4 finals, 1/2 finals and final, are watchable on latest generation DVB-H receivers (Samsung, Sagem).
ENENSYS was selected as the official supplier of transmission equipment: DVB-H Head End, TS over IP distribution solution and DVB-H transmission means. ENENSYS makes DVB-H transmission secure and fully ready for 2008 deployments. ” It is ideal for us to have French local partners working at the leading edge of DVB-H technologies, such as ENENSYS, and to run a live demo. All our guests were delighted to find out what DVB-H looks like and were very enthusiastic about images quality...» says Thomas Jacques, Director of Strategy and Technical Innovation at TF1 Group.


German Bundesrat against mandatory DVB-H

Broadband TV News reports that the German Bundesrat (upper house) has decided there should be no mandatory standard for mobile TV broadcasts.
This point of view is at odds with the European Commission, which wants to make adoption of the DVB-H standard compulsory.
Next year, a consortium of cellcos O2, Vodafone and T-Mobile plan to launch a nationwide DVB-H service in the country, but at present mobile TV provider Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland (MFD) already offers a commercial service using the DMB standard in some parts of the country. The Bundesrat also warned that such regulatory measures from Brussels could interfere with the free flow of information, the plurality of the media and cultural diversity.


Orcon delays mobile service till February

Orcon has pushed back the launch of its mobile phone service till the first week of February, but promises it will be "well worth the wait" with the state-owned owned telco lining up a range of services that it says will be new to New Zealand cellphone users.

Customers will be able to set their landline and mobile so they ring at the same time when they receive a call, so they could pick up on either, and could retrieve voicemail left on mobiles and landlines from a single voicemail box.

Chief executive Scott Bartlett says Orcon has a couple of bigger innovations in the wings. "Only one other carrier in the world is doing what we intend to do." Orcon is "actively working" on DVB-H, a broadcast technology trialled earlier in the year by parent Kordia that promises to revolutionise mobile TV by letting customers use their mobiles as fully-functioning mini-TV sets that could pick up Freeview free-to-air broadcasts.
But Mr Bartlett would not say whether this was one of the services Orcon had in mind for its mobile launch.
Kordia has previously estimated the cost of deploying DVB-H in a city the size of Auckland at about $10 million.
Orcon struck a deal to resell connections to Vodafone's mobile network in August last year and had originally hoped to start a service this month.
Mr Bartlett says the delay reflects the complexity of the wholesale deal it negotiated with Vodafone.
"Internal testing is kicking off now. It does involve a degree of network build between Orcon and Vodafone. We need to tie our network into theirs and tie our billing systems into their data warehouse. It is quite a bit of work, but it will be well worth the wait."
Customers will be able to switch from Vodafone to Orcon's service by plugging an Orcon sim card into their Vodafone mobile. Orcon says will also sell a range of handsets over its website which it is sourcing itself from manufacturers.
It will have exclusive rights to sell some iMate handsets in New Zealand and is talking with Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung, among others, he says.
Mr Bartlett says Orcon has not had to share its plans with Vodafone. "We have no intention of letting Vodafone know all the things we intend to do to differentiate ourselves in the market and they are quite happy about that, because it shows it is a wholesale and not just a resale deal.
"Obviously with any telecommunications service your ability to make significant profits is always encumbered when you don't own the asset, but for now we are happy with the deal."

from The Dominion Post

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