ACMA extends datacasting trial and approves new mobile television trial in Sydney on channels A and B

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007
ACMA logo

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has authorised separate trials on the two unassigned digital television channels for Sydney known as channels A and B.

ACMA has decided to extend the current datacasting trial in Sydney being conducted by Broadcast Australia on channel 35 until the completion of the channel A allocation process.

ACMA has also approved an application by Irdeto Access Pty Limited to conduct a digital video broadcasting-handheld (DVB-H) mobile television trial in Sydney. Using channel 29, this trial will be for a ‘one-off’ three month period commencing early April.

‘Both trials will assist in maintaining the momentum towards new digital services that will be afforded by the utilisation of channels A and B,’ said Chris Chapman, ACMA Chairman.

ACMA’s decision to extend Broadcasting Australia’s trial – known as DIGITAL FORTY FOUR – follows the consideration of submissions about extending the trial beyond 31 March. The overwhelming majority of submissions supported an extension

In making its decision, ACMA sought to weigh up the public benefit in having the learnings resulting from the services continuing until the long term allocation of the channels – expected to be in the second half of 2007 – with the public interest in ensuring that the eventual price-based allocation process of the channels is fair, with no one bidder favoured over another.

A condition will be placed on the apparatus licence requiring Broadcast Australia to provide ACMA with more detailed reports during and at the completion of the trial. The reports will be published on the ACMA’s website.

The same condition has been placed on the Irdeto Access trial.

‘Information gathered in relation to the Irdeto Access trial will assist in continuing to inform ACMA, the government and other stakeholders on the technical characteristics of the DVB-H system and market interest in new technologies such as mobile television,’ said Mr Chapman.

A major aspect of the trial proposed by Irdeto Access is a demonstration of its security solutions for content owners so that high quality content can be delivered securely over future DVB-H networks without fear of piracy. The trial will also be used to assess the degree to which the DVB-H system can operate using a variety of mobile handsets and mobile network operators.

The trial information (PDF 165 kb) provided to date by Broadcast Australia is available from ACMA’s website.

Media contact Donald Robertson, ACMA Media Manager on (02) 9334 7980.