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Coming Soon To Your Mobile - TV and Internet Access


People on the move will soon be able to access TV programmes and the internet on dual mode mobile phones, thanks to a highly praised, cross European project made possible by a grant of €3.71 million from the Information Society Technology (IST) Programme of the European Union’s Fifth Framework Programme (FP5).

With project partners in the UK, Germany, France and Italy, the CISMUNDUS (Convergence of IP-based Services for Mobile Users and Networks in DVB-T) project has developed and demonstrated a converged digital broadcast (DVB-T) and cellular (GPRS) system that provides both local and remote interaction to portable digital televisions and a high bandwidth multicast IP downlink.

“This will prove to be a major step forward in mobile communication,” says the project co-ordinator, Professor John Comas from the School of Engineering and Design at Brunel University. “Consumers will benefit from greater choice as a direct result of CISMUNDUS creating a more competitive mobile media market place. This, in turn, will produce a bigger range of quality and value for money multimedia.”

The CISMUNDUS system was successfully demonstrated at the International Broadcasting Convention 2003 in Amsterdam where it was nominated as one of the best five demonstrations in an exhibition that hosted over a thousand stands with companies demonstrating their latest technologies.

“The need for reliable and good quality mobile communications and media will become even greater in the coming years,” says Peter Walters, UK National Contact Point for IST within the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme. “So it is right that a substantial amount of the funding available through the Framework programme should go to projects like CISMUNDUS to make sure that the UK and European communications sector are at the forefront of the technology development.”

CISMUNDUS provides benefits across the board. It gives the telecom operators the opportunity to improve the quality and efficiency of delivering content to wireless mobile users. For Broadcasters, it not only increases user interaction with their content but also increases their potential viewing public to include commuters and travellers located within closed and populated areas such as stations, airports or sports stadiums as well as passengers in cars, trains, buses and metros.

There are clear benefits for users because there will be more attractive audio and video streamlining and clips services, plus more interactive local and remote interaction services. Additionally there will be an increased choice of accessing alternate (complementary) versions of the same service over DVB and GPRS and more assured continuity of service when one or other version of the GPRS and DVB service is not available due to network impairments.

There are also very important benefits for equipment manufacturers, because markets for a completely new generation of mobile phones and TVs will be created providing additional sales revenues. This will lead to mobile phones with TV capabilities and pocket TVs with interaction capabilities being developed to meet the requirements of a wide range of new services for people on the move bringing new opportunities for content creators and service operators who specialise in providing a wide range of services to such audiences. There will also be additional sales of head-end systems such as servers, IP and broadcast gateways, multiplexors, modulators, power amplifiers and antennas.

These benefits are perceived by broadcasters, cellular operators, and terminal and equipment manufacturers as potential market winning differences that can be achieved with the lowest possible investment.

Dave Sanders | alfa
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