European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Approves Publication of FLO™ Air Interface Specification

Monday, February 16th, 2009 

Cooperation Between Leading European Standards Organizations – EBU, CENELEC and ETSI – and North American Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) leads to global standardization of FLO Mobile Broadcast Technology

FREMONT, CA AND LONDON, UK — The FLO Forum is pleased to recognize the decision of the EBU / CENELEC / ETSI Joint Technical Committee (JTC) Broadcast to publish ETSI TS 102 589, “Forward Link Only Air Interface; Specification for Terrestrial Mobile; Multimedia Multicast.” JTC Broadcast is a collaborative working group of EBU (European Broadcasting Union), CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization), and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) established to develop specifications for broadcast systems.

The publication of ETSI TS 102 589 is a significant step towards ensuring a single global specification for the FLO air interface. The decision to publish a new JTC Broadcast specification provides tangible benefits to key industry stakeholders. Wireless operators have greater freedom to match the ideal technology with their business model; regulators gain the ability to provide a technology-neutral spectrum policy using open, standards-based technology; and mobile broadcast suppliers — ranging from semiconductor manufacturers to device OEMs to broadcast network infrastructure providers — have access to greater economies of scale through global compatibility of FLO mobile broadcast solutions.

The JTC Broadcast-approved technical specification, ETSI TS 102 589, is based on the Forward Link Only Air Interface Specification published as TIA-1099 by the North American Telecommunications Industry Association. With its publication, the FLO air interface technology joins other mobile broadcast technologies standardized by JTC Broadcast, those published by the TIA, and still others deployed or in development around the globe.

“Cooperation between these leading standards development organizations has created the basis for the coordinated ratification of a single, global FLO air interface standard,” said Dr. Kamil A. Grajski, president of the FLO Forum. “While market fragmentation in Europe or elsewhere is always of concern, the FLO Forum believes it is vitally important to the industry, consumers and society-at-large to have technology innovation and competition based on global standards combined with market-based selection mechanisms.”

“The bmcoforum, as a technology-neutral organization, welcomes the standardization of the FLO air interface through JTC Broadcast,” adds Dr. Claus Sattler, managing director for Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum. “Having the FLO air interface published among the set of European broadcast standards will reinforce bmcoforum’s vision of ubiquitous and seamless delivery of mobile TV/video content over a variety of access networks to a large variety of handheld devices supporting multiple standards.”

The industry has adapted to the realities of a global, multi-standard mobile broadcast industry by building flexible multi-modal chips, devices, networks and software systems. In such an environment, it is of critical importance to ensure a uniform, global standard for a given technology. The decision by JTC Broadcast underscores both the growing worldwide acceptance of FLO technology, and the rising importance of coordination amongst international standards development organizations.