SFR and Alcatel-Lucent field validated the fundamental assumptions for the deployment of a DVB-SH Mobile TV terrestrial networkWednesday, January 16th, 2008
Reusing part of the existing 3G+ sites allows efficient and economic indoor coverage
PARIS — Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced that, following the DVB-SH pilot jointly performed by SFR and Alcatel-Lucent from July to December 2007, both companies validated the fundamental assumptions for the deployment of a DVB-SH network co-localized, for its terrestrial part, with an existing commercial 3G+ network.
The tests validated that it is possible to reuse the 3G+ sites, towers and antennas in order to deploy a DVB-SH Mobile TV broadcast network in the frequency bands adjacent to UMTS (i.e. in the S band at 2.2 GHz, currently available all over Europe).
Furthermore, tests performed in the city of Pau (South-West of France), both outdoors and inside buildings, validated several fundamental assumptions on the performances of a DVB-SH network, notably the coverage, continuity and quality of service.
In particular, the tests confirmed that it only requires that portions of the 3G+ sites are equipped with DVB-SH repeaters to allow Mobile TV coverage inside buildings identical to the 3G+ coverage. This validates the economical efficiency of the deployment of a DVB-SH terrestrial network for Mobile TV broadcast with a very high coverage quality.
In addition, tests related to the satellite part of a hybrid DVB-SH network were performed using a helicopter as a fixed point at high altitude, thus emulating a geostationary satellite. These tests confirmed that, for the user of a mobile terminal in a pedestrian as well as a vehicular situation, the signals coming from the satellite perfectly combined with those coming from the terrestrial repeaters, in a transparent manner for the terminal.
The rigorous methodological approach followed in the framework of this test, which relies on the analysis of network deployment hypotheses at the same time real and diversified, shows the flexibility of Alcatel-Lucent’s “Unlimited Mobile TV” solution. This solution allows the adaptation of the DVB-SH network deployment to the capacity needs (i.e. number of channels) and to the level of coverage desired by the operators, while securing the economic efficiency of the deployment and the perfect integration of the DVB-SH network with their preexisting 3G+ network.
On this occasion, Jean-Dominique Pit, Strategy Director of SFR, declared: “SFR has always stood at the forefront of innovation in order to provide all its clients with the most attractive mobile services. This is why we wished to bring our contribution to Alcatel-Lucent by allowing them to evaluate on our sites the hybrid technology based on the new DVB-SH standard. The different technologies used for broadcast TV on mobiles seem to us worth evaluating, based on the growing success enjoyed by Mobile TV among our customers, and we are fully satisfied with the results obtained from the field.”
Olivier Coste, Chairman of Alcatel-Lucent’s mobile broadcast activities added: “Thanks to this trial and to the quality of the tests and measurements that we jointly conducted with SFR, we succeeded in validating in the field our analyses on the deployment cost for a DVB-SH Mobile TV network. Therefore we can confirm that this innovative technology will enable the players to quickly offer very high quality Mobile TV services at the best cost. These elements are of an utmost importance for the success of Mobile TV among consumers.”
During a field visit in Pau, the results of these tests were presented by Alcatel-Lucent and SFR to key Mobile TV players in France, to the media, to the local and national authorities, and to the industrial partners of this solution. In the framework of this visit, six channels were broadcast live (TF1, France2, France3, CANAL+, M6 and Eurosport France). SES Astra managed the distribution of content to the terrestrial repeaters network.
The “Unlimited Mobile TV” solution based on DVB-SH is supported by the French Agency for Industrial Innovation (now integrated with OSEO). In the framework of his solution, Alcatel-Lucent consolidates the efforts from several innovative companies including DiBcom for the DVB-SH chipsets, TeamCast for the DVB-SH modulators and test terminals, UDcast for the DVB-SH encapsulators and Thales Alenia Space for the network head-end.
Description of the pilot
The pilot used pre-commercial low-power terrestrial repeaters for the broadcast part, co-localized with several SFR’s 3G+ operational sites. The broadcast signal from a satellite was emulated by a transmitter located in a high-altitude helicopter perceived as a fixed point. The mobile terminals used were pre-commercial terminals provided by Sagem Mobiles and Samsung Electronics offering an improved reception quality thanks to the antenna diversity related to the use of the S-Band (2.2GHz).