Vodafone, Telefónica, Orange, and 3UK Report Successful Results from TDtv Trial with IPWireless and MobiTV

Monday, February 12th, 2007
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MBMS-Based Mobile TV Solution Leverages Existing 3G Spectrum To Deliver Broadcast Level

Barcelona, Spain — Vodafone, Telefónica, Orange, and 3UK today announced the results of their successful joint technical trial of TDtv. TDtv is the UMTS TD-CDMA-3GPP Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Services (MBMS) standard for mobile television solutions. The trial provided valuable insights into the technology’s capability and successfully demonstrated how existing spectrum can be used to deliver mobile television and other multimedia services.

The participants are now discussing next steps and exploring how the findings from the trial could be used to develop commercial models.

Key Trial Results

  • Reliable delivery of mobile TV services using TDtv technically viable
  • Up to 11 to 14 high quality channels can be delivered in 5MHz of TDD spectrum
  • Coverage comparable to WCDMA but using fewer cell sites
  • Performance consistent when moving at speed
  • Dual mode handset viable

The TDtv trial, announced in October 2006, aspired to test key performance and deployment aspects of the mobile TV technology. Covering a large area of Bristol in the UK using only 12 macro-cell sites, the trial proved that the technology has the ability to offer reliable television delivery at the data rates that are needed to provide high quality mobile TV services.

The trial showed that eleven high quality channels could be delivered across the service area, with the potential to deliver up to fourteen channels with planned future technology developments. Significant coverage gains were demonstrated when using key TDtv performance enhancement technologies including macro site combining and receive diversity in the user device. The gains from these technologies demonstrated in the trial indicate that TDtv may be able to provide the same coverage as WCDMA when deployed on 35% of the WCDMA sites.

TDtv also proved its ability to perform at motorway speeds during the trial, allowing it to address a wide range of use cases such as when travelling on a train.

Initial coexistence testing to explore the simultaneous operation of 3G FDD and TDD also proved the theoretical viability of a dual mode WCDMA/TDtv handset.

Finally, the TDtv network also proved very reliable with 99.999% availability during the trial.

Professor Michael Walker, Director of Research and Development at Vodafone said: “Trials are an extremely important part of our strategic product development and help us build a comprehensive understanding of how the technologies work and the customer experience they will offer. The outcome of this trial will help us evaluate the commercial potential of TDtv as part of the MBMS assessments we are undertaking.”

“The TDtv trial in Bristol has proven the ability to effectively use our unused TDD spectrum for a wide variety of Mobile Broadcast Services and the potential of a SFN deployment to support impressive coverage gains,” said Cayetano Lluch Mesquida, Managing Director, Technology and Services, Telefónica Móviles España. ” Nevertheless, we would like to see the next steps taken to ensure a wide variety of terminals and interoperable services are available for the platform.”

Vivek Badrinath, Executive Vice President, IT Networks and Product Support, Orange said: “We are committed to fuelling the growth of mobile TV by ensuring our customers are offered the best quality and content now and in the future. The TDtv trial forms an important part of our research into potential technology solutions for the future, equally important is the collaboration of other industry players, who are now working together to learn and build from our shared experiences.”

David Cooper, 3UK CTO said: “3 is pleased to support this initiative. The results of this first trial demonstrate TDtv has the potential to deliver a mass market Mobile TV solution. As the first network to launch a 3G services in Europe, we’re always looking at ways to develop the service we offer customers.”

About TDTV

TDtv is the 3GPP MBMS solution that operates in the universal unpaired 3G spectrum bands that are available across Europe and Asia at 1900MHz and 2010MHz. It allows UMTS operators to further utilise their existing spectrum to offer subscribers attractive mobile TV and multimedia packages without impacting other voice and data 3G services, which use the universal paired 3G spectrum. The technology also allows mobile operators to use network sharing to significantly reduce Capex and further improve the business case for mobile TV.

TDtv enables mobile operators to deliver multiple TV channels to an unlimited number of concurrent customers. Mobile operators deploying TDtv would also be able to deliver digital audio, multicast, or other IP data cast services to enhance their service offerings to customers.

About the trial

TDtv base stations provided by IPWireless were deployed to deliver broadcast services to TDtv enabled smart phones. MobiTV, Inc., the international mobile and broadband television services company, provided the client application, as well as facilitated the mobile content and media delivery components of the trial. Roke Manor Research, a trusted and capable independent technology assessor for the mobile industry developed and implemented the test plan and published results for the trial.

Because TDtv is based on the 3GPP family of standards, integration of TDtv with WCDMA on both the network and device side is simplified. Jointly testing TDtv allowed the operators to assess the coexistence of TDtv channels with neighbouring TD-CDMA and WCDMA networks.