FLO™ Forum Completes Open Conditional Access Framework

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007 

Member-driven specification enables multiple vendors to implement content security systems within the FLO architecture

FREMONT, CA AND LONDON, UK — The FLO Forum, a body of over 90 global wireless industry leaders dedicated to the open standardization of FLO™ (Forward Link-Only) technology for mobile multimedia broadcast, today announced the completion of the Open Conditional Access (or OpenCA) Key Management System Framework, creating a standards-based environment that enables multiple vendors to implement content security systems within the FLO architecture.

The OpenCA framework provides a standard interface for CA systems to interoperate, ensuring that FLO network operators do not become dependent on a particular vendor. Instead, they can replace an entire CA system seamlessly with another system, or run multiple systems concurrently in a “Simulcrypt” setting. This provides operators with increased flexibility in response to new security demands or business model requirements. The framework also enables content providers to offer a wider choice of premium content on mobile without the risk of piracy, helping to create a compelling end-user mobile TV experience.

The OpenCA framework was an initiative driven by the FLO Forum membership. Three European members were instrumental in authoring the specification; Irdeto, Nagravision and NDS all contributed via the FLO Forum’s Content & Services and Technical Committees, applying their extensive experience of working with the DVB Open Security Framework (OSF) to devise an equivalent solution for FLO technology. Further members, including Newport Media, Verimatrix and Widevine Technologies, also contributed to the review and approval of the framework.

“Content security is a fundamental requirement for all digital TV services and its effectiveness in mobile TV will be under close scrutiny as the market expands,” commented Charles Lo, Chair, FLO Forum Technical Committee. “Flexible, secure conditional access systems will be key not only in assuring revenues for operators, but also in encouraging content owners to offer high quality content – which, in turn, will drive consumer uptake. As such, the OpenCA framework is a crucial step in ensuring a secure and profitable future for all parties within the FLO ecosystem – from CA vendors, to operators, to content owners.”

“The opportunity to leverage standardized conditional access systems on top of FLO technology was identified by several of the FLO Forum’s members,” said Dr. Kamil Grajski, President, FLO Forum. “These members took the initiative in “porting” to FLO the DVB OSF, taking advantage of previous implementations, and quickening the introduction of open CA-based FLO networks in future. The FLO Forum prides itself on being a member-driven organization and, as with all FLO standards to date, our members have been extremely active in working collaboratively to develop the OpenCA framework. The completion of the framework highlights yet again the global, multi-company momentum behind FLO technology for mobile broadcast TV.”