O2, Orange and Vodafone have teamed up to launch a pilot mobile broadcast system capable of delivering data intensive services such as mobile TV.
The multi-operator pilot, which will run for three months from October 2010 in central London and Slough, will assess how mobile broadcast services can be deployed using a shared network infrastructure.
Integrated Mobile Broadcast (IMB) is a standardised 3GPP technology recently endorsed by the GSM Association. As well as offering broadcast services to customers, it can seamlessly link with traditional unicast or on-demand services delivered over 3G.
The operators are exploring using the IMB wireless technology within a little used section of 3G spectrum called Time Division Duplex (TDD) spectrum.
This spectrum already forms part of the 3G licences held by many European mobile operators, but has remained largely unused because of a lack of appropriate technology.
Currently, 3G TDD spectrum is available to over 150 operators across 60 countries covering more than half a billion subscribers.
The pilot will demonstrate the capabilities of IMB in delivering both live streaming video and offloading traffic from existing 3G networks by broadcasting and storing popular content on mobile phones. It has the potential to deliver a ‘compelling user experience’ at lower cost than conventional solutions.
IPWireless and Ericsson have teamed up to deliver the technology solution for the UK pilot.
IPWireless will supply the core 3GPP broadcast technology that will explore the performance of the TDD spectrum for mobile broadcast services.
Ericsson, as the prime integrator, will provide integration services and a media platform.
Streamezzo, which was recently acquired by AMDOCS, is a leading software publisher of open mobile development platforms and will provide the rich media user interface for the pilot.