Open Standardization of FLO Technology Continues With TIA Approval of Conditional Access Standard

Thursday, June 26th, 2008 

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

FREMONT, CA AND LONDON, UK — The FLO Forum, a body of more than 95 supporting global wireless industry leaders and dedicated to the open standardization of FLO™ (Forward Link-Only) technology for mobile multimedia broadcast, today announced another step forward with the approval by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) of the Forward Link Only Open Conditional Access (OpenCA) Specification.

The completion of the OpenCA Specification, published as TIA-1146, creates a standards-based environment that enables multiple vendors to implement content security systems within the FLO architecture. The specification is the eighth FLO standard approved by the TIA, following the publication of TIA-1130 Forward Link Only Media Adaptation Layer Specification earlier this year.

The OpenCA specification provides a standard interface for conditional access (CA) systems to interoperate, ensuring that FLO network operators have the flexibility to use multiple CA solutions. Through the standard interface, they can replace an entire CA system seamlessly with another system, or run multiple systems concurrently in a “Simulcrypt” setting. This provides operators with greater control to respond to changing security demands or business model requirements. The framework also enables content providers to offer a wider choice of premium mobile content while reducing the risk of piracy, and thus helping to create a compelling end-user mobile TV experience.

The OpenCA initiative originated within the FLO Forum. Five member companies who are leaders in the global CA market were key to the success of the program including Irdeto, Nagravision, NDS, Verimatrix and Widevine. They each 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. Following approval by the FLO Forum membership, the OpenCA technical contribution was submitted by the TIA TR47.1 Engineering Committee as an input technical contribution for open standardization.

“Content security is a fundamental requirement for paid 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, TIA approval of the OpenCA specification is a crucial step in ensuring a secure and profitable future for all parties within the FLO ecosystem – from CA providers, to operators, to content owners.”

“The opportunity to leverage standardized conditional access systems in conjunction with FLO technology was identified and driven by several FLO Forum members,” said Dr. Kamil Grajski, President, FLO Forum. “These members took the initiative in adapting to FLO the DVB OSF, taking advantage of previous implementations, and quickening the introduction of OpenCA-based FLO networks in the future. The completion of the OpenCA framework highlights the FLO Forum’s commitment to the global, open standardization of FLO technology, and is a testament to the dedication and support of our valued members.”