Table of Contents
1.0 Chapter One - General Introduction
1.1.1 Background on Business Model and Technology
1.3 Problem Definition
1.3.1 Objectives of the Project
184.108.40.206 Pricing Scheme
220.127.116.11 The choice of technology
18.104.22.168 Coordination of Stakeholders
1.3.3 Formulation of root definitions of relevant Business Models
1.3.4 Guiding questions
1.3.5 Scope of Work
1.5 Structure of the Project Report
2.0 Chapter Two - Literature Review
2.1 Literature Review
3.0 Chapter Three - Overview of Technologies
3.2 Mobile TV Service Delivery Platform
3.3 Mobile Broadband Platform
3.4 Broadcast Mobile TV Technologies
3.5 Comparison of Mobile TV Technologies
3.6 Services and Content
4.0 Chapter Four - Survey Results
4.1 Data Collection and Analysis
4.2 End-User Requirements & Expectations
5.0 Chapter Five - Business Models for ICT
5.2 The importance of business models
5.2 Subscription Business Models
5.3 Advertising Business Models
5.4 Hybrid Business Models
5.5 Designing the Business model for Mobile TV
6.0 Chapter Six - Findings and Recommendations
6.2 Main regulatory models
6.3 Business model- Challenges and Issues
7.0 Chapter Seven - Conclusion
Appendix 1: Interview with Samuel of Multimedia Group Company
Appendix 2: Interview with Charles Narh of Multimedia Group Company
Appendix 3: Interview with Tetteh Akornor of Mobile Telephone Network (MTN - MNO)
Appendix 4: Sample questionnaire for MTO subscribers
Appendix 5: Sample questionnaire for Market players
Appendix 6: Output of SPSS of the data analysis from survey conducted
I owe a debt of gratitude to God for giving me the strength and ability to see off this project to the final chapter and to all who helped me to undertake this Project.
My sincere thanks go to my supervisor, Prof. Reza Tadayoni of CMI, AAU for his insightful suggestions, comments, guidance and directions in the course of this research. I also acknowledge the cooperation and friendly encouragement of many members of staff of both AAU and the GTUC.
I am grateful to all my respondents and interviewees for finding time to answer my questions and also for the direction they provided. The findings or recommendations of this report do not necessarily reflect the views of any person or group of persons other than me. I am responsible for any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in facts or analysis that may be found in this report.
I also appreciate the efforts of Mr. & Mrs. Kissiedu for scheduling interviews for the team at Multimedia Group Limited. Finally, I thank Mr. Tetteh Akornor for granting that interview.
My motivation for this trimester as an Mict student was to study the business model that will be suitable for deploying Mobile TV as a service to the user/customer, the market players and the providers involved in rolling out such as service. The research which was carried out in this project included finding a suitable business model to drive this service and also looking at the various technologies that is backing the mobile TV service. In order to know what pertains in Ghana and that of the outside world, I conducted a small survey to seek the views of future and present customers of this service. Their responses were not too different from what have been reported by other surveys and analysts. During the project it was evidence that the operators and providers will need clearly defined roles in order for each member to be committed to the project and also to sustain the service. Despite the challenges outlined by experts in the industry, there is light at the end of the tunnel for Mobile TV service which is yet to be seen. The Europeans, the Americans and the Asians have already taken lead in this service and are constantly researching to make the service affordable, available, and interactive as possible and innovated than the traditional TV.
CHAPTER ONE - GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Mobile phones or PDAs have become part and parcel of human life. Telecom operators are in constant research trying to bring converged services to their numerous customers and to reduce churn as much as possible. In developed markets, operators are looking at increasing data speed offered to customers by investing in 3.5G and LTE. Others who are almost there are bringing out bundles or services that will utilized the huge bandwidth that has been acquired. The television experience is no longer tied to the living room. The next frontier in television is mobility. Broadcasting television to mobile consumers represents an enormous opportunity for multi-channel operators and MNOs alike. But terrestrial television broadcasting and mobile networks have rarely crossed paths1.
Television has long been a highly successful industry. For decades now, broadcasters and content providers around the world have extracted profit from this media conduit to the mass market by offering a growing array of channels and scheduled programming. Today, however, this sort of “traditional” TV is under attack. Fewer people are watching TV in their homes than before, and advertising revenues are dropping 2.
MNOs are deploying mobile TV as a service to lure customers to their network. Mobile TV is television programming delivered to people on their portable devices. Customers want to be able to access their favourite TV shows, movies, football, music videos, etc. wherever, whenever, however (sometimes irrespective of the cost, they wish to have such service at all times). (This culled from a survey conducted by Ericsson ’ s Consumer and Enterprise Lab).
By 2013 researchers say that mobile TV subscribers will increase to around 300 million with the biggest growth in emerging markets. "Mobile TV is just not as big a deal as we all thought it would be," Frank Dickson of Reed Business told the BBC. "The idea combines the two biggest things around: TV and phones. Everyone has a TV and everyone has a mobile phone. So of course the industry thought the prospect of bringing the two together was going to be huge. In reality, live mobile TV has been very slow to take off," explained Mr Dickson3.
Even though Mobile TV is a new service coming from a range of technologies, the future looks bright for this service. There are different standards in technology across the world using different technologies to deploy the mobile TV service. The Japanese, Americans and the Europeans have all adopted their own standards, which surprisingly is working within their markets. In this project I shall base my analysis and arguments on the European standard - DVB-H and 3G mobile TV. (The solutions offered by Nokia Siemens Networks are based on the open DVB-H and OMA BCAST standards).
Some of the telecom vendors championing the technologies behind mobile TV are Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens. These vendors after deploying this service sometimes have a supporting contract with the operator to maintain the service. One vendor who is on the forefront of delivering this service to customers in Africa is Nokia Siemens Networks. The company's mobile TV broadcasting solution offers transmission via DVB-H of even more TV channels combined with enhanced video quality, while at the same time reducing operational costs 4. The project is usually collaboration between the Mobile TV network broadcaster, the Mobile Network Operator and the digital satellite television operator. According Nokia Siemens Networks and Nokia, the pioneering partnership with the MNOs and DMTV (operators of DSTV which is Africa’s leading digital satellite television service provider) in Ghana, Kenya, Namibia and Nigeria have delivered a world-class mobile experience for their customers and providing support for different devices 5. This statement coming from a Telecom vendor could be another marketing strategy; however the quality of service and availability is usually determined by the customers and the National Communication Authority (NCA) (in the Case of Ghana). I have had an experience of using this service and there were times that the transmission of say a football match is distorted or remains still for some seconds before the picture quality is sometimes restored. Some analyst will attribute this problem to either the MNO or the BNO. Better still the technology being used to deploy the service could be a factor.
According to ABI Research, the number of mobile TV subscribers worldwide will grow from 11 million in 2006 to 462 million in 2012, representing a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 85%. However, cashing in on this growth will require service providers to make significant changes to existing network infrastructures and business models.
Beyond revenues, mobile TV also presents real branding and positioning opportunities to its providers. It is a component of a multi-screen entertainment bundle, a key approach for operators seeking differentiation. Finally, mobile TV will certainly be a key element of any on-device portal strategy a mobile operator may adopt to secure a role in the content value chain (this will eventually increase or maintain the operator’s position on the market share). Equipment manufacturers such as Nokia, Sony Ericsson and ZTE will have to include the DVB-H feature into the design of modern phones. However, the cost of the phones as compared to previous models should be marginal in order to promote the Mobile TV service and technology6.
Research conducted by In-Stat (which is part of Reed Business, and Californian chip maker Telegent Systems) revealed that mobile TV users watch at least three times a week, with 20% watching daily. Two-thirds of respondents interviewed said on the days they tuned in, they watched mobile TV for 30 minutes or more. By comparing these scenarios in the leading markets of Japan and Korea, viewers are glued to their mobile TV for over an hour7.
Flo TV (which is owned by the wireless company Qualcomm) agrees that they have seen tremendous spikes in viewing for live news and sport in recent times. The first was the US presidential election and the highest watched programming for Flo TV was the Michael Jackson memorial service. "We continually see huge spikes for sport; for football, basketball, baseball and the like. People clearly want to stay connected even if their lifestyle requires them to be at work, or travelling or on the sidelines of a kids soccer game," Jonathan Barzilay, Flo TV's senior vice president of programming and advertising 8.
In present day Ghana, Two operators have launched the mobile TV service, namely: Vodafone and MTN. For Vodafone, they have a partnership between Black Star TV and South Korean company 2ii Tech, and have introduced FON TV to the Ghanaian market for almost 2 years now. They are employing Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (T-DMB) technology. Vodafone is running on a 2.5G network and this might be attributed to the choice of this technology for mobile TV. On the other hand, MTN a 3.5G network operator partnered Nokia Siemens and DMTV to deploy Mobile TV service in the 2nd quarter of 2009. It is important to note that MTN subscribers who have subscribed to this service have not been charged until now. Perhaps this could also be considered in arguing for the pricing scheme for developing the business model for such a service.
1.1.1 Background on Business Model and Technology
There are essentially three ways in which live streams and on-demand programmes can be delivered to mobile handsets. It is either via the mobile network itself or through the terrestrial digital TV network. The third option is via satellite. A range of technologies have been tested and some are still in research and trial stages for delivering mobile TV in these three different ways. For GSM/WCDMA operators, the fastest and simplest route to getting mobile TV services off the ground is through the existing 3GPP standard unicast capabilities of WCDMA and EDGE networks. A dedicated 3G channel is allocated to the user by the MNO during the time the user is actually watching a TV programme. For the operators having both the 2.5G and 3G network, by adding High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) to the WCDMA network, improves performance and quality when the user is watching a TV programme on the mobile phone.
A software enhancement commercially available for WCDMA networks, called Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Services (MBMS), is usually installed by the WCDMA operator to enhance the data rate which is suitable for most mobile TV shows; even for content like sports channels that require higher data rates. With MBMS (3GPP Rel-6) technology, a single 5MHz carrier can support up to 12 point-to-point channels at a user rate of 128kbit/s per channel. It is worth highlighting that the service provider benefits from broadcasting the most popular channels in the same area: the other channels can be provided using unicast. MBMS technology enables the same radio network channel to be shared by all users watching the same TV show in the same area at the same time 9. The main complementary technology to mobile network-delivered mobile TV is Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H), based on the main terrestrial digital TV standard in Europe.
DVB-H enables a large number of TV channels to be transmitted simultaneously - typically 30-40 channels per 8MHz carrier. However, it requires new spectrum to be allocated, or provided by current broadcast network providers, and the building of an entirely new network (This is one of the setbacks to the DVB-H technology to the network operator without the 3G network and the broadcast network providers). This network will need to provide good indoor coverage, and so will be at least as dense as 3G networks. To design a cost effective Business model for such service with the varying technology, a critical cost benefit analysis should be performed to come out with revenue generating models which will propel the mobile TV service. MNOs will need to make a careful assessment of how each technology can best support their business plans and relationships with media and content companies. For mobile operators and broadcast network to be in business in a competitive market, they need to design positive business models that will support the products that are being offered to the customers. ”Competition today is not between products, it’s between business models” Gary Hamel. A mixture of complementary and competing mobile TV technologies could be rolled out in order to have value for money on services that will be delivered to subscribers and also to sustain the Mobile TV service.
Advantages of 3G-delivered mobile TV services to mobile operators
- MNOs can use their existing spectrum to reach a large number of subscribers instantaneously.
- 3G TV can also be used to create a 'mobile triple-play' mix of telephony, broadband and TV services using a common service and network infrastructure.
- 3G TV enables and encourages interactivity, by letting users interact with mobile TV shows for example. It also offers the advantage of letting users watch their favourite TV shows while they are away in other countries: this is not possible with DVB-H. Some Disadvantages of 3G-delivered mobile TV services to mobile operators
- The video quality may not be as consistent as with other forms of mobile TV technology (Market Alert is drawn from the In-Stat research).
- The 3G mobile TV service is only available to those with 3G handsets, so 3G mobile TV services cannot be offered to the entire subscriber base (especially in Ghana where only 2 MNOs have 3G sites which covers ¼ of the country).
- TV streaming via 3G requires more bandwidth and is expensive to rollout 3G network on the part of the MNO. In such an environment it will be the decision for the Operator to decide how much bandwidth 3G TV should utilize in the network.
3G has capacity limitations and if two or three people in one place are receiving a TV picture, you can't make a phone call10.
Investigations by Ericsson, indicates that the total operator delivery costs for EDGE and WCDMA/HSDPA 3G networks are in the region of €0.01 per Megabyte of data. This would indicate a total monthly delivery cost of approximately €2 for a subscriber watching mobile TV for an average of 15 minutes per day. With consumers prepared to pay an additional €10-15 a month for mobile TV services, there would appear to be good scope for mobile operators and their content partners to turn a profit from 3G TV services 11.
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
- Worldwide 3G mobile TV subscribers are forecast to reach 42 million in 2012. x 3G mobile TV subscribers grew to 6 million worldwide in 2007. x In 2012, In-Stat expects worldwide 3G mobile TV revenues to reach $5 billion.
Spectrum is scare and valuable resource which when managed well can propel the economy of a country (especially developing ones like Ghana). It is no mistake therefore that every country is advocating for digital television. With digital television, the information is transferred in "data bits." The amount of space required to transmit these "data bits" is much smaller than what is required for analog television.
The government of Ghana had stakeholders meeting to discuss moving Ghana to digital broadcasting. (A national digital broadcasting migration technical committee that would make policy recommendations to government for a smooth and successful transition from analogue to digital transmission was inaugurated in January 2010 in Accra).
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications who swore the 24-member Committee into office, charged it with the mandate of assisting Ghana to switch off analogue broadcasting services before the international deadline of June 17, 2015.
"It is my expectation that the technical committee will consult widely with all stakeholders and also benchmark with work done by other countries within the Africa region to be able to present credible and practical policy recommendations for the realization of the objectives of digital broadcasting migration in Ghana," he said. "I am mandating the Committee to commence digital broadcasting in Ghana as early as 2012, starting with all regional capitals with the broadcasting signal," he added 12.
Once this feat is achieved, Mobile operators can team up with digital broadcasters to have more channels on the Mobile TV service. This will go a long way to benefit people in the rural areas who will want to listen to news and other programmes in the local dialect of their choice by switching to the required channel wherever whenever however.
Considering the standard of living in this country, the average Ghanaian cannot afford to have a mobile TV service because of the price of the phones that support this service with the operator. It is therefore prudent for operators to link up with Equipment manufacturers to come out with low feature phones or reduced functionalities which will be able to power mobile TV be it DVB-H or DVB-SH technology. MTN has initiated such as a move and the first batch of such phones did not last a month on the market as customers rushed to purchase them.
To succeed in this service (Mobile TV), service providers will face a number of challenges. My motivation therefore is to have critical analysis on these challenges and design a profitable business model to overcome the problems experienced by other operators and to sustain the service on the market.
1.3 Problem Definition
1.3.1 Objectives of the Project
- To obtain in depth knowledge about mobile TV technologies.
- To obtain knowledge on the provision of mobile TV on the mobile broadband platform.
- To understand the concept of business models and it applications in deploying mobile TV and video services.
- To understand the methods and theories used in the analysis and design of functional 3G and beyond networks for 3G-delivered mobile TV services.
- To analyse various pricing schemes in order to sustain the provision of 3G-delivered mobile TV services by a mobile broadband operator.
- To utilize the broadband capacity provided by the MNOs in an emerging market such as Ghana.
- To obtain data through questionnaires or surveys to make an objective analysis of the current mobile broadband services provided by mobile operators.
- To promote the usage of interactive 3G-delivered mobile applications in the areas of distant education.
22.214.171.124 Pricing Scheme
To have a successful mobile TV service, there should be an appropriate pricing scheme: mainly there could be two different pricing schemes namely; one is a pricing scheme based on monthly flat subscription fee, and the other one is a free of charge model. There have been several survey papers that show what consumers prefer between the two different models. As expected, most of the consumers' prefer the free model. Actually, several operators in Europe who relied on the monthly subscription model have failed to attract subscribers13.
126.96.36.199 The choice of technology
The fact that there exist different technologies use to provide mobile TV services, I shall consider the technology that will drive the business model I intend to design. This technology will sustain the service that will be delivered to subscribers in order to keep the operator in revenue generating business.
188.8.131.52 Coordination of Stakeholders
One of the problems associated with the deployment of mobile TV services is with difficulties in getting the business actors to cooperate. Getting the mobile and broadcast ’worlds’ to work together is not much of an issue but rather the onus lies on getting content providers (broadcasters) and MNOs to work together on a broadcast service platform. I will try to define the role of each stakeholder appropriately in the business model I shall be designing should thier services be needed14.
1.3.3 Formulation of root definitions of relevant business models
After careful analysis of empirical data and research on white papers, the project will consider the model that is more profitable to the company that will be using this business model in the long run. In the case of free price model, it can be supported by advertisement. At the moment this business model seems more profitable as outlined below:
- Consumers want free mobile TV and video services.
- Advertising business model can provide free services.
- Advertising business model needs as many subscribers as possible.
The TV services could also be made interactive (like a social network) so that more subscribers will be hooked onto it. 3G-delivered Mobile TV will then be the chosen technology for this feature. This is because of the added advantages stated in the previous sections. The fact that it also offers the advantage of letting users watch their favourite TV shows while they are away in other countries will increase subscriber base. This will be a pivotal factor in considering the free price model in the business model to be designed.
1.3.4 Guiding Questions
- What is the current situation of mobile TV services on the 2.5/3.5G platform in Ghana?
- What are the economic benefits (for both the Subscriber and market players) of deploying services on 2.5G as compared to 3.5G technologies in the Ghanaian market?
- What are the requirements for implementing mobile TV and video services using 3.5G access technologies?
- What is customer satisfaction in current mobile TV services offered by the Mobile operator?
- How can the mobile TV service be packaged such that it becomes a sustainable service in order to attract more investors and also make it affordable for the average person?
- What propelled some mobile operators to succeed in deploying mobile TV services whilst others failed in similar ventures?
- Is the Ghanaian business climate conducive for mobile TV services?
1.3.5 Scope of Work
This project will mainly focus on coming out with a positive business model for mobile TV services by mobile operators. The designing of services will have the following characteristics in mind as user and operator requirements: One-way broadcast, on-demand video, interactivity connected with one-way video, mobility and universal accessibility and Personalisation15.
In the project report, I shall apply theorems and scenarios in designing business models and analysis. For the analysis, I shall study research documents, articles, textbooks, journals, technical papers, etc from telecommunication vendors, equipment manufacturers, mobile telecommunication operators and the academia. I shall also review course materials (literature references, slides, etc) from CMI, Aalborg and interview some players in mobile telecom, TV broadcasting, content providers and mobile subscribers where possible. The review will provide an insight into the project that’s about to be tackled, the likely limitations that will be encountered in the project and find the best way around them.
For the purpose of the study, I will conduct surveys using qualitative and quantitative approaches to gather information in designing profitable business model in the Ghanaian market. Face to face interviews will also be conducted among selected stakeholders to gather information.
Various literatures in relation to the project will be analyzed to know similar models being implemented elsewhere, which technology is being used and their shortfalls associated with the rollout of mobile TV services.
The information that will be acquired from the points listed above shall be used in analyzing the different price schemes and choosing the appropriate one that will support the idea of making a profitable business model to the employer and the customer as a whole. The choice of technology will involve some stakeholder analysis of the current infrastructure that exist in the company and the technology that will yield results with minimal Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and reduced Operational Expenditure (OPEX) in subsequent years.
1.5 Structure of the Project Report
The project report is organized into chapters.
Chapter One is an introduction to the project. It takes a look at the project definition and the methodology employed in the project.
Chapter Two addresses mobile TV deployment in different regions or countries. It also considers some of the deployment methods and the market players involved in this.
Chapter Three takes an overview of the technologies behind mobile TV. It takes in consideration two popular technologies and makes an objective analysis of these two. It ends with the service and content likely to go along with the technology.
Chapter Four involves data analysis of the survey conducted. The end-user requirements and perceived expectations are also carried out in this chapter.
Chapter Five looks at designing business models for ICT firms or companies. This chapter also tries to tackle the importance of business models and consider various business models. This chapter ends with the designing of the business model.
Chapter Six looks at findings and recommendations and the market forecast by industry players. It also outlines some of the challenges and issues of business models and the recommendation by the EU. Chapter Seven is the final chapter.
Chapter Seven is the conclusion to the designing of the Business model for mobile TV. This chapter also attempts to answer questions raised in the problem definition.
CHAPTER TWO - LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Literature Review
Mobile TV is termed as ‘Killer application’ for next generation mobile networks by some experts in the telecom business and market watchers. Mobile TV is gradually becoming popular with network operators, media companies and consumers alike. But there are some challenges ahead, and mobile operators in saturated and emerging markets need to consider their options carefully in order to make the most of the mobile TV opportunity16. There has been a sudden interest in this service which has ignited research groups to conduct surveys and predict the performance of this service in the market. Some statements made by some of these institutions are as follows:
- UK analyst firm Visiongain predicts that there will be 270 million subscribers able to get TV services on their mobile handsets by 2009.
- And several analysts (including Northern Sky Research) have predicted a mobile TV market of well over 100 million active users by 2010.
- The Shosteck Group expects worldwide revenue from mobile TV services of between US$10 billion and US$28 billion by 2010 17.
The Consumer and Enterprise Lab of telecom vendor giant Ericsson, found a great deal of interest in mobile TV services in a survey it conducted among 14,000 consumers in Western Europe. The survey found that consumers are willing to pay between 10 and 15 euros a month for mobile TV services - provided the content and quality are right. Ericsson's research showed that mobile TV was rated above gaming, music videos and MP3 functionality by adult respondents in the 'early adopter' segment. Therefore some of the questions to be answered in this project in order to design a profitable business model for mobile TV service are what types of mobile TV programmes are consumers most interested in? And how will consumers most likely use mobile TV services?
( Mobile TV: the business model, Thomas Johansen, 20 June, 2006 14:49.
Available from Internet: http://www.eurocomms.com/search/Mobile_TV/1 [cited 17th January 2010 09:59 PM])
In the same Ericsson survey conducted, consumers were able to provide some answers to operators as listed below:
- The research found that for mobile TV to be successful, it has to offer more than ordinary TV on a small screen. Watching standard broadcast TV on miniature portable TVs has not proved very popular: the trick will be to offer specially-adapted content, personalised programming and interactivity - all of which mobile TV can deliver, when implemented the right way. x Respondents were keen to see a mixture of entertainment and information programming: news, reality TV, sport and music were all popular.
- For the pricing scheme, most of those questioned would be prepared to pay a fixed monthly fee for unlimited access to their own choice of four or five channels. Most users would accept advertising over mobile TV as long as this would entitle them to discounted or free content x They also expressed a desire to see operators tie up with credible content providers, such as established news, media and entertainment organizations.
- The most likely situations in which the consumers surveyed would watch mobile TV would be fill- in time and to stay up to date. Respondents could envisage watching TV on their mobiles to fill in time on the train or bus, while waiting for an appointment, during breaks at work or school or even when lying on the beach. They could also see themselves tuning into 'normal' full-length programming if they would otherwise miss a favourite programme or key event while out and about.
Consumers were also attracted to the idea of interactivity - for example, being able to vote or submit a greeting via their mobile phones. The interactivity opened up by the mobile 'return' channel also enables additional services such as shopping via mobile TV. What's more, the handset can be used as an interactive remote control when users are sitting in front of the TV at home18.
In modeling the business, we need to take the following statements into consideration in order to sustain the mobile TV service for the Mobile Network Operator, Network Broadcasting stations and the content providers. Some of these could be a challenge to these players which when carefully analyzed could be seen as an investment that is surely to yield results depending on a lot of factors. For example for the MNOs, interactivity means additional traffic and revenues, and improved positioning with the TV industries and content providers. A recent trial conducted by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) and Ericsson found that adding interactivity doubled the average time that viewers watch their mobile TV service. The nine-week trial showed that users of interactive TV watched for an average of five minutes each session - double the regular mobile TV viewing time. The big question for the MNOs is how to design a business model that will build a strong competitive position in mobile TV by maximising the trusted relationships they have with their subscribers and attracting traditional broadcasters and content providers as partners. The choice of Technology could have an influence here as well (this will be elaborated in subsequent chapters).
A number of MNOs are gearing up mobile TV solutions that are completely terrestrial based. Currently the issue of standards to be used is already creating a war for the Europeans, Americas, Japan and the Asia. Just as the 2G and the 3G standards was an issue and eventually most operators adopted the European standards, MNOs are being careful of what technology to adopt and also considering the technology behind their access network. The Europeans have adopted DVB-H (digital video broadcast for handhelds) as their standard, Japan/Brazil are going for ISDB-T (integrated services digital broadcasting- terrestrial) and the USA has built a terrestrial mobile TV service called MediaFLO which is owned by Qualcomm. ATSC is another standard for the North America family 19. For Africa and emerging markets the standards are usually chosen or adopted from developed market and they also depend on the vendor capabilities and expertise. For an MNO to choose Ericsson as a vendor, then that MNO is most probably going to adapt to European standards. In Ghana for example majority of the operators are using the European standards and it’s by no surprise that MTN, Tigo and Zain have selected Ericsson as their technical vendors and Vodafone is still using Alcatel-Lucent (also an European vendor) and the only operator to have used CDMA2000 technology is kasapa who are being powered by ZTE. Qualcomm was the first to launch its mobile TV service into the market in 2006. The Europeans and Japanese followed suit in 2007 but the Europeans have been slow in deploring the service because of the market readiness for the service. Following the outcomes of the launch from the US and Asia, the Europeans are being careful in order not to repeat the mistakes of their competitors. Perhaps they are treading cautiously as they did in the GSM issue which eventually has become the popular standard accepted by the majority.
CHAPTER THREE - OVERVIEW OF TECHNOLOGIES
The success and sustainability of mobile TV service will depend on the business model, strategy of the MNO and the technology adopted in deploying the service. There are varied technologies of which some have become standards for some continents and countries. In this chapter, we shall describe some of the technologies that have also become standards and are being used by Telecom vendors. We shall also delve into the service delivery platforms and the mobile broadband platform. Finally an in dept comparison of the various mobile TV technologies will be addressed.
3.2 Mobile TV Service Delivery Platform
Mobile Service Delivery Platform (MSDP) is a business platform for multimedia service delivery. It provides much cross-cutting functionality to help mainly mobile operators and media companies provide cost-efficient, attractive and competitive multimedia services. The term Service Delivery Platform (SDP) usually refers to a set of components that provide services delivery architecture (such as service creation, session control & protocols) for a type of service. As SDPs evolve, they will often require integration of telecom and IT capabilities and the creation of services beyond technology and network boundaries. SDPs available today are optimized for the delivery of a service in a given technological or network domain (examples of such SDPs include web, IMS, IPTV, Mobile TV, etc.). They will typically provide a service control environment, a service creation environment, a service orchestration and execution environment, and abstractions for media control, presence/location, integration, and other low-level communications capabilities. SDPs are applied to both consumer and business applications 20.
Service delivery platforms generally define or implement resource allocation protocols (such as SIP for IMS, or IGMP for video streaming), its delivery-enabling mechanisms (such as authentication, policy control, subscriber management or billing), its applications environment and its OSS/BSS. It must be noted that there is no one standard definition of an SDP in the telecommunications industry. Today, different players define the components, breadth and depth of an SDP in different ways. Furthermore, the term 'service delivery platform' is also used by the IT industry to refer to Web Services and the associated 'agile' service creation processes. As the technologies of telecoms and IT converge, service providers are looking to integrate the best of both of those worlds as they build new offers21.
There are some benefits for the mobile network operator depending on the MSDP chosen from a particular vendor. As well there should be some characteristics that the operator should look out for when selecting the MSDP. Some of these are as follows:
- The choice of a particular MSDP should help the operator to Think Big, Start Small and Scale fast. An MSDP that is able to attain this completeness gives unparalleled time to market for new consumer offering.
- In selecting the MSDP, the operator should be able to focus on the revenue streams. The using of MSDP should create the possibility of the mobile network operator to quickly enter the mobile marketplace targeting a specific audience and be rewarded by immediate revenue. From the initial stronghold, the operator should be able to introduce new offerings and business models as the customer base grows, without having to invest in new technology.
- The operator should select an MSDP that can monitor and get reliable information on the consumers' activities in the form of history logs. This will help the operator to understand the user and suggest appropriate service bundle or pricing scheme to the user.
- The MSDP should be able to keep control of partner relations and revenue shares and also bring about cost control 22.
To the MNO, the MSDP addresses the critical business needs of network operators to create new sources of revenue through usage and subscription fees while increasing ARPU (Average Revenue per User) and decreasing their overall churn rate. Operators retain control over access to their networks, and don’t risk network integrity by permitting non-metered and unmanaged access23.
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Fig 1.0 Example of an End to End architecture of MSDP
(source: Mobile Service Delivery Platform, HP Intel Solution center Blueprint Telecommunications HP Invent, BEA, Microsoft, Incommit 2003, Part Number: BP05-2003/E, page 4)
Customer Value Proposition
- Increase revenues through a wealth of new services - By enabling the rapid deployment of new converged voice and data services, the MSDP speeds your time to market and opens up a wealth of new revenue opportunities. The ability to move easily between voice, data, and value- added services enables operators to design and deliver truly innovative services - increasing revenues exponentially without loss of control or excessive risk to network assets and integrity. x Reduce operational costs - With a single delivery environment for all applications, MNOs no longer need to support an expensive diversity of application support environments thus eliminating the high costs of application maintenance. The MSDP moves operators into the data- services world making them not just communications network, but Web services suppliers with assets that enhance the development process.
- Enable more sophisticated business models - There are different payment systems in coming out with a whole new service in this field. Users may use pre-paid, post-paid, credit cards, vouchers, etc., to pay for a service. The MSDP is designed to integrate with new and existing, pre- and post-paid billing systems. The MSDP gives MNOs the ability to automate services and recruit content suppliers. This materialises the potential for sophisticated business models and rapid return on investment 24.
3.3 Mobile Broadband Platform
MNOs face bandwidth challenges delivering a breadth of live TV to millions of subscribers over existing mobile networks. Multi-channel operators and other content providers are examining new ways to deliver their programming and interact with the mobile user 25. Mobile TV service can be deployed on a mobile network that has either 2.5G or 3.5G. Thus research shows that GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA/HSPA/LTE will support mobile TV but the quality of service will be different depending on the mobile broadband network being used. In Ghana for example, two MNOs (MNOs) have deployed the 3.5G network (HSPA) - MTN and Zain providing subscribers with mobile broadband speed. Vodafone with its fixed and mobile network is able to provide mobile broadband speed as well but on her fixed line since they are still using the 2.5G network. This is one reason why MTN is able to partner with Nokia Siemens and DSTV to provide mobile TV using DVB-H technology.
Research by global MNOs and research houses indicate that broadband speed is going to be a continuous demand for the market. Thus they predict that people will consume an exabyte — that’s 1 million terabytes — of information on mobile networks. This is mainly due to the increased number of users on the internet and the introduction of converged services in the mobile world. In 2009, T-Mobile USA, indicated that average mobile data consumption among its customers has shot up to 3.7 megabytes per user, per month, from just a few kilobytes a couple years back. That incredible growth in traffic will have to be managed by carriers if they want to maintain their profits. Chetan Sharma in his latest report entitled “Managing Growth and Profit in the Yottabyte Era.” But while Sharma notes that the growth in mobile broadband speeds will lead to more data consumption, what he doesn’t get into — but the chart below hints at — is that faster mobile broadband speeds will be the platform supporting the next generation of technology companies 26.
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Fig 2.0 Broadband Penetration and Traffic for Wireline and Mobile (US)
(source: Wireline Traffic Data from Minnesota Internet Traffic Studies - MINTS, http://chetansharma.com/yottabyteera.htm Managing Growth and Profits in the Yottabyte Era)
Multi-channel operators are looking for additional outlets to extend their brands while MNOs want to reduce the burden video places on their networks. In neigbhouring country such as Togo, the leading mobile operator in Togo has realized the benefits of mobile broadband network hence has contracted Alcatel-Lucent to extend their network capacity in GSM and to build the first 3G wireless broadband network in the country. The new network, which will be deployed by the end of 2010, will enable Togo Cellulaire to offer advanced mobile broadband services to over 2.2 million subscribers and businesses throughout the country. “We look forward to Alcatel-Lucent’s converged technologies and professional services to support the delivery of advanced, high-speed 3G services that will support economic development throughout our country,” said Atcha-Dedji Affoh, chief executive officer of Togo Cellulaire 27.
Another MNO (TeliaSonera, a Scandinavian Telecom giant) has contracted Ericsson Telecom vendor giant to roll-out 4G mobile broadband network which will offer the highest data rates ever realized, with the best interactivity and quality. This network will cover Sweden's capital Stockholm and the contract is Ericsson's first for commercial deployment of LTE. Ericsson’s research on the 4G network based on LTE shows that one can read on-line multimedia newspapers effortlessly and even watch their favorite on- demand TV show in HD (High Definition) quality wherever you are, whenever you find time. The new 4G network will do for broadband what mobile telephony did for voice. With real-time performance, and about 10 times higher data rates compared to today's mobile broadband networks, consumers can always be connected, even on the move. Erik Hallberg, Senior Vice President and Head of Mobility Services Sweden, TeliaSonera says: "Our customers are among the world's most advanced users of telecommunications services. With 4G, we will provide them with the best mobile broadband capabilities they can get. We have chosen Ericsson as our partner because of its impressive track record in mobile technology, strong focus on LTE development and early deployment capabilities 28."
TDTV is a 3GPP MBMS solution that provides mobile operators an opportunity to profitably deliver multiple, high-resolution TV channels, digital audio, or other IP data-cast services to an unlimited number of concurrent customers. In 2007, Vodafone, Telefonica, Orange, 3UK, and IPWireless announced successful results from a joint technical trial of TDTV in Bristol. The trial demonstrated TDTV's ability to reliably deliver a large number of high-quality channels in 5 MHz of TDD spectrum with coverage comparable to WCDMA, but with far fewer cell sites. The trial also demonstrated the viability of dual- mode TDTV/WCDMA handsets as well as the ability of the technology to support full mobility at vehicular speeds.
TDTV operates in the universal unpaired (TDD) 3G spectrum bands that are available across Europe and Asia at 1900 MHz and 2010 MHz. It enables UMTS operators to utilize their existing TDD spectrum to offer subscribers attractive mobile TV and multimedia packages without impacting their 3G voice and data services which use universal paired (FDD) 3G spectrum. In addition, the technology supports network sharing to further reduce deployment and operational costs29.
3.4 Broadcast Mobile TV Technologies
There are a lot of technology standards for deploying mobile TV. For the sake of academic work, I shall narrow down on just a few. Some of the standards to be considered in this project are as follows: 1-seg, ATSC-M/H, MediaFLO, DMB-T/H, DVB-H/SH and S-DMB.
1-seg is a mobile terrestrial digital audio/video and data broadcasting service in Japan and Brazil. In 2005, the service began experimentally and became commercial on April 1, 2006. In Brazil the broadcast started in late 2007 in just a few cities, with a slight difference from Japanese 1-seg: a 30 frame/s transmission, while in Japan they use a 15 frame/s transmission. The 1-seg standard was borne out of the ISDB-T technology. Thus ISDB-T is designed so that each channel is divided into 13 segments, with a further segment separating it from the next channel. An HDTV broadcast signal occupies 12 segments, leaving the remaining (13th) segment for mobile receivers, hence the name 1-seg or One-Seg30. 1-seg also supports data broadcasting which provides news, weather information, and even program-related information with the mobile terminal's telecommunications functions via the Internet. Viewers can enjoy a sharp TV picture anytime, anywhere with a variety of mobile terminals30.
3-seg is also borne out of the ISDB-T technology. ISDB-T broadcasting operators use 0.43MHz bandwidth (1segment) or 1.29MHz (3 segments). Because 3-seg can perform hierarchical transmission, handheld receivers can do partial reception of the center segment31.
ATSC-M/H (Advanced Television Systems Committee - Mobile/Handheld) is a standard in the USA for mobile digital TV. This allows TV broadcasts to be received by mobile devices. ATSC Mobile DTV (A/153) is based on vestigial sideband (VSB) modulation as does the standard ATSC A/53 broadcast service, coupled with additional error correction mechanisms. The video content is compressed with the efficient MPEG AVC (ISO/IEC 14496-10 or ITU H.264) video and HE AAC v2 audio (ISO/IEC 14496-3) coding. The video format is fixed to 416 pixels x 240 lines (16:9) to meet the requirements for mobile devices. The mobile data is carried with the Internet Protocol transport system. ATSC-M/H defines three different layers of signaling. The ATSC Mobile DTV service shares the same RF channel as ATSC A/53. The mobile system is enabled by using a portion of the total available 19.4 Mb/s bandwidth and is delivered via IP. The layers are organized hierarchically and optimized to characteristics of the transmission layer 32.
MediaFLO (branded in the U.S. as FLO TV) is Qualcomm's technology to transmit data to portable devices such as cell phones and PDAs, used for mobile TV. Broadcast data includes real-time audio and video streams, individual, non-real-time video and audio "clips", as well as Internet Protocol datacast application data such as stock market quotes, sports scores, and weather reports. The "F-L-O" in MediaFLO stands for Forward Link Only, meaning that the data transmission path is one-way, from the tower to the device. The MediaFLO system transmits data on a frequency separate from the frequencies used by current cellular networks. In the United States, the MediaFLO system uses frequency spectrum 716-722 MHz, which was previously allocated to UHF TV channel 55 33. In the past, MNOs have had to ask many questions with regards to coming out with a business model that aims at solidifying their market share. The questions below are sometimes a challenge to these MNOs. How can rich content be delivered to millions of mobile users? Can MNOs deliver a compelling number of TV feeds without overburdening their networks and still build a business case?
According to researchers at MediaFLO, the FLO technology was specifically designed to overcome these challenges. Purpose-built as an end-to-end mobile multimedia delivery platform, the MediaFLO system receives live broadcast feeds, transforms content into a mobile format, and securely broadcasts to an unlimited number of mobile users. Designed to deliver the most live programming, clips, data and interactive functionality at the highest quality, FLO technology can help monetize the mobile television opportunity. The one-to-many broadcast approach of the MediaFLO system efficiently delivers content to an unlimited number of mobile consumers. FLO technology simplifies the transit of video, audio and data to mobile devices, supports the business models of both MNOs and multi-channel operators, and provides benefits for the entire mobile TV ecosystem34.
DMB-T/H or DTMB (GB 20600-2006) is the digital terrestrial television (DTT) standard adopted in the People's Republic of China (PRC), including Hong Kong and Macau. This mandatory standard covers both fixed and mobile terminals and is serving more than half of the television viewers in the PRC, especially those in suburban and rural areas. The standard is officially called Digital Terrestrial Multimedia Broadcast (abbreviated as DTMB). The standard was formerly named Digital Multimedia Broadcast- Terrestrial/Handheld (abbreviated as DMB-T/H). DTMB is an outgrowth of work at Jiaotong University (developed ADTB-T, similar to ATSC, which coexists with DVB-T) in Shanghai and Tsinghua University (developed DMB-T, similar to T-DMB) in Beijing. Both hoped to provide the sole technology, but neither had the technical or political muscle to achieve that goal. The final decision was to opt for a dual standard and fuse it with the TiMi 3 standard. This was a direct result of a need for backward compatibility, because the adoption of ADTB-T, DMB-T and DVB-T for HDTV transmissions via set-top boxes occurred prior to the final draft of the standard. Therefore, DTMB became a fusion of the two aforementioned standards, ADTB-T and DMB-T. The data transmission methodology implemented by the standard is TDS-OFDM (short for "Time Domain Synchronuous-Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing"), which is primarily a multiple-carrier modulation technology, supporting both single-carrier and dual-carrier modulation schemes. According to the co-developer of the DMB-T standard at Tsing Hua University, the standard is capable of transmitting "acceptable" signal quality for HDTV receivers moving at speeds up to 200 km/h. The standard also supports mobile digital TV service on handhelds, a feature absent from typical digital TV implementations in Europe and America. In addition, the radius of the signal coverage area is 10 km greater than the European implementation, the DVB-T standard. As a fusion of three standards (DVB-T, ADTB-T and TiMi 3), the DTMB standard provides many of the advantages and also have some shortcomings35.
DVB-H, Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld is a physical layer standard for delivering IP based media content and data to handheld terminals such as mobile phones or PDAs, based on a hybrid satellite/terrestrial downlink and for example a GPRS uplink. The creation of DVB-H, which is closely related to DVB-T, also entailed modifications of some other DVB standards dealing with data broadcasting, Service Information, etc. It can be used as a bearer in conjunction with the DVB-IPDC systems layer specifications or alternatively with the OMA BCAST specifications. A non-proprietary open standard, DVB-H has broad support across the industry. DVB-H services are now on air in more than ten countries. It is also the European standard for deploying Mobile TV. DVB-H is an extension of DVB-T with some backwards compatibility, i.e., it can share the same multiplex with DVB-T. It uses a mechanism called multi-protocol encapsulation (MPE), making it possible to transport data network protocols on top of MPEG-2 transport streams. A forward error correction (FEC) scheme is used in conjunction with this to improve the robustness and thus mobility of the signal. In addition to the 2k and 8k modes available in DVB-T, a 4k mode is added to DVB-H giving increased flexibility for network design. A short “in-depth” interleaver was introduced for 2k and 4k modes that lead to better tolerance against impulsive noise (helping to achieve a similar level of robustness to the 8k mode) 36.
DVB-SH (Digital Video Broadcasting - Satellite services to Handhelds) is an evolution of DVB-H and a powerful mobile broadcast standard allowing cost-effective mobile TV deployments. The DVB Project published the DVB-SH standard in February 2007 and was adopted by the EU in the same period. The DVB-SH system was designed for frequencies below 3 GHz, supporting UHF band, L Band or S-band. It complements and improves the existing DVB-H physical layer standard. Like its sister specification (DVB- H), it is based on DVB IP Datacast (IPDC) delivery, electronic service guides and service purchase and protection standards 38. DVB-SH is twice more efficient, allowing satellite/terrestrial hybrid topology and compatible with all DVB-H applications. DVB-SH standard was published by ESTI on March 19th 2008. It has can be used as coverage complement for existing DVB-H with DVB-SH in S-Band medium/low power transmitter for indoor and outdoor coverage. According Alcatel-Lucent, for MNOs, there exist easy upgrade of existing networks 3G and GSM whilst maintaining the following: reuse of existing sites,reuse of antennas and reuse of existing cabinets. Furthermore, they claim that there is going to be limited CAPEX per repeater and reduced installation per cost for the operator. The upgrade will require additional rack in existing cabinet, adding a combiner to feed 2 radio signals in one (existing) cable. With DVB-SH, the service provider benefits from reduced CAPEX, competitive pricing and better margin whilst the End-User benefits from up to 2X more channels as compared to the DVB-H, better (indoor) coverage, Better QoE (higher data-rate) - Higher image quality/larger screens and multiple form factor37.
S-DMB (Satellite-DMB) is a hybrid version of the Digital Multimedia Broadcasting. The S-DMB uses the S band (2170-2200 MHz) of IMT-2000 and delivers around 18 channels at 128 kbps in 15 MHz. It incorporates a high power geostationary satellite, the MBSat 1. Coverage is integrated with a terrestrial repeater (low power gap-filler) network for indoor coverage in urban areas 38. The announcement by SK Telecom that the construction of the world's first satellite for Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) called 'Han Byul' is completed and the launch of this satellite drew keen attention from satellite operators and IT companies worldwide. This is because it was the world's first satellite for DMB to be launched in 2004. Its launch had great significance in securing a leadership role in the DMB market for both Korea and Japan 39.
3.5 Comparison of Mobile TV Technologies
This section of the project will consider two main standards adopted by the US market (MediaFLO) and DVB-H technology by the Europeans. I shall try to elaborate the pros and cons of these technologies. Before we proceed, let us find out why DVB-H becoming a common standard.
The European Commission (EU) has backed a single standard, DVB-H, for the rollout of Mobile TV services across Europe. This decision aims at speeding up service implementation, which the EC believes could reach 500 million customers worldwide by 2011. DVB-H is being rolled out in several countries in Europe and Asia and has been launched in Italy, South Africa, and Vietnam. An advantage of DVB-H is the fact that full end-to-end solutions including terminals already exist. It is also based on open standards meaning competition on all levels of the solution, and more value for the consumer. As of September 2007, more than 270 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers, regulatory bodies and others in over 35 countries are committed to the DVB Project, an industry-led consortium that supports DVB-H technology for broadcast mobile TV. GSM operators also embrace DVB-H’s technical merits: DVB-H is an open system suitable for small screens, small antenna, battery power, true mobility and indoor coverage, DVB-H is a true digital broadcast (one-to-many) solution 40.
What benefits does DVB-H have over the existing cellular network?
Most digital TV services today are delivered via the cellular network, which reduces network capacity for voice calls. Additionally, because DVB-H uses a separate air interface rather than the cellular network, live TV can be broadcast in real-time, rather than streamed over the network. DVB-H also enables faster frames per second viewing so you are seeing 25-30 fps versus 1-15 fps. The combination of the increase in frames per second, available bandwidth, advance Video and Audio codecs enables DVB-H to offer a better end user experience for the consumer. Due to the nature of the broadcast technology, large amounts of media can be delivered to multiple subscribers in a “one-to-many” fashion reducing the cost of transport for delivery to the mass markets. If this amount of content were to be delivered over the 3G network the carrier would see an impact to traditional voice and data. Therefore, from a carrier’s point of view, the DVB-H network is seen as a complimentary network to existing 3G infrastructures, enabling a cost-effective delivery of a TV service to the mass market. Simulcast delivery of unique video content over the 3G network will still have a part to play in the carrier portfolio, enabling the carrier to market content to the single subscriber, for which a premium charge can be applied, leaving the delivery of similar content to the mass market to the DVB-H network. Cellular networks and services can also be used as an advantage with DVB-H broadcast. For example, a DVB-H reception together with cellular connectivity opens up possibilities for TV-related interactive services such as voting, polls, gaming and e-commerce. Different pay-TV models like subscriptions and pay-per-view can also be supported 41.
Features of DVB-H
- It is a physical layer specification designed to enable the efficient delivery of IP-encapsulated data over terrestrial networks.
- It can be used as a bearer in conjunction with the DVB-IPDC systems layer specifications or alternatively with the OMA BCAST specifications.
- DVB-H is an extension of DVB-T with some backwards compatibility, i.e., it can share the same multiplex with DVB-T. It uses a mechanism called multi-protocol encapsulation (MPE), making it possible to transport data network protocols on top of MPEG-2 transport streams. x A forward error correction (FEC) scheme is used in conjunction with this to improve the robustness and thus mobility of the signal. In addition to the 2k and 8k modes available in DVB-T, a 4k mode is added to DVB-H giving increased flexibility for network design 42.
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Fig 3.0 Additions brought to the DVB-T system by DVB-H
(source: Broadcasting to Handhelds, Digital Terrestrial Mobile TV, DVB Fact Sheet - April 2009 page 1)
DVB-H has the Time Slicing technique used to achieve the required power savings. Each individual TV service in a DVB-H signal is transmitted in bursts allowing the receiver to go into sleep mode, only waking up when the service to which it is “tuned” is transmitted. Statistical multiplexing is also possible in DVB-H, ensuring optimum use of bandwidth to deliver services. DVB-H is designed for use in Bands III, IV and V as well as L-band.
Market Deployment of DVB-H
In Europe, DVB-H mobile TV services are on air in Italy, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Albania whereas it exists in Asia and Middle East countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, India and the Philippines. Recently it has also been deployed in emerging African markets such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Namibia with Ghana and Nigeria coming from the same MNO - MTN. More than fifty DVB-H technical and commercial trials have taken place all over the world and further commercial launches are expected in France, Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan and elsewhere. The DVB Project always endeavours to ensure that technology included in its standards is made available to implementers on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, although it is not directly involved in the patent pooling process itself 43.
Service scenarios: There are some challenges in mobility with regards to the DVB-H services, as there are no constant conditions in the radio interface. Instead, the field strength and phase of the received signals varies, the multi-path propagation might cause long delay spreads, the cells changes, etc., which means, in the worst case, that part of the data is lost during the transmission.
Effects of the Environment and equipment: The mobility of DVB-H gives the user the possibility to carry the receiver to the environments that have not been usually used in earlier terrestrial broadcast systems. This gives special points of view for the network planning, as the radio conditions vary depending on the location of the mobile.
DVB-H in Fast/Slow Moving Mobile: Pedestrian users can use the slow moving mobile in such places that cannot be covered by DVB-H cells. Because of the very small internal antenna of the terminal, the received power level might be the limiting factor e.g. inside buildings. Vehicle mounted equipment is rather straightforward solution for the DVB-H reception, since the equipment might be connected to the external antenna placed on the rooftop of the vehicle. There are some special environments where DVB-H terminal can move relatively fast. A "Bullet train" is one example of this environment. In this case, it should be noted that the train itself might attenuate the signal strength considerably when using a handheld DVB-H device with an internal antenna. This phenomenon can be minimized by installing repeaters inside the train, with possibly a leaking cable solution. The functioning of the system in high-speed environments also depends on the used modulation and mode44
Some of the most interesting characteristics of DVB-H from the service design perspective are:
- The high broadcast data rate even in moving conditions compared to other technologies.
- The simultaneity of reception of the information by all listening users, together with a real-time capacity.
- The ability to cope with highly simultaneous demands with no risk of network saturation; and the simplicity to address a community of users thanks to the support for multicast protocols.
There are different ways of classifying services depending on, for example:
- The market (i.e. professional, entertainment, educational, wealth, traffic information, etc.). x The network use (i.e. distribution, retrieval, messaging, conversational).
How can one design a profitable business model to provide mobile TV on mobile devices? CMI, Copenhagen Institute of Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark - The functionality and level of interactivity proposed to the end-user45. DVB-H Applications
Real-time Applications: One of the clear benefits of DVB-H is the possibility of delivering real-time services for vast audiences in a certain area.
TV-like broadcasting: In this case, the hand-held set can be used as digital TV broadcast receiver with the possibility of selecting the wanted channel. The selection procedure is simple, the Electronic Services Guide (ESG) being the method of informing about the contents available on the channels. The first step for introducing this type of service is to simulcast the existing broadcast programs on a terrestrial fixed network and DVB-H network. The next step involves the introduction of TV tuners integrated into mobile phones, to provide news, TV shopping and sports services specific to the area and conditions of reception.
Live broadcasting and notification: A DVB-H network will allow the development of services, with broadcast notifications sent according to the preferences of the user (stored in the service provider server) to be chosen at the time of subscription to the service with the possibility for the service provider to propose different fees, depending on the number of notifications to which the user subscribes.
Games: Real-time quizzes or multiplayer online role-playing games are example of other real-time services that is supported over DVB-H network. The first one consists on a broadcast quiz, linked or not to a broadcast program, allowing the user to compete with other users. Real-time results can be broadcast. The second scenario consists of mobile online games dedicated to a community of players. The DVB-H link is then used to broadcast the persistent environment of the game, the updates of the game as well as the results of the actions of the connected players.
Near on-demand Applications: DVB-H is suitable for the reception of near on-demand video and audio streams from, for example, a pre-defined selection of programs. Video and audio streams are continuously streamed by the server on different "channels" accessible through a portal: e.g. cinema with movie trailers sorted by types, audio streams and video clips, news, weather forecasts, etc.
Downloaded Applications: Contents are stored within the terminal for further consumption. As the data file transmission is vulnerable in low reliability radio conditions, efficient repetition and data error correction mechanisms are needed. Because of that, the DVB-H system would not be the first choice for a wireless data transmission method, where low error rates are needed46.
One downside of DVB-H is that it requires new spectrum to be allocated, or provided by current broadcast network providers, and the building of an entirely new network. This network will need to provide good indoor coverage, and so will be at least as dense as 3G networks. Furthermore, the total DVB-H network capacity must be shared between all interested service providers. How this will be achieved is not yet clear. DVB-H also involves some additional cost for new hardware in mobile phones. These factors are to be considered in designing profitable Business model for all stakeholders 47.
MediaFLO System Architecture
A MedaiFLO system is comprised of four sub-systems: the Network Operation Center (which consists of a National Operations Center and one or more Local Operation Centers), FLO Transmitters, 3G Network, and FLO-enabled devices (also known as FLO Handsets). The schematic diagram in Fig 4.0 shows an example of the FLO network.
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Fig 4.0 Example of FLO Network
(source: FLO TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW, Revolutionizing Multimedia, Qualcomm. Available from internet: www.mediaflo.com page 5)
Features of MediaFLO
- FLO has been designed specifically to optimize power consumption through intelligent integration on the device and optimized delivery over the network. Thus FLO technology simultaneously optimizes power consumption, frequency diversity and time diversity.
- The FLO air interface employs Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) to transmit each content stream at specific intervals within the FLO waveform. The mobile device accesses overhead information to determine at which time intervals a desired content stream is transmitted. x FLO technology minimizes program channel acquisition time. In most cases, it is under two seconds. Mobile users can channel surf with the same ease as they would using digital satellite or cable systems at home.
- FLO supports the coexistence of local and wide-area coverage within a single Radio Frequency (RF) channel. The content that is of common interest to all the subscribers in a wide-area network is synchronously transmitted by all of the transmitters. Content of regional or local interest can be carried in a specific market.
- To provide the best possible quality of service, FLO technology supports the use of layered modulation. This means the FLO data stream is divided into a base layer that all users can decode, and an enhancement layer that is decoded in areas where a higher Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) is available.
- The FLO technology utilizes Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), which is also utilized by Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), Terrestrial Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB-T), and Terrestrial Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB-T).
- Rapid channel acquisition is achieved through an optimized pilot and interleaver structure design. The interleaving schemes incorporated in the FLO air interface simultaneously assure time diversity. The pilot structure and interleaver designs optimize channel utilization without annoying the user with long acquisition times.
- The FLO air interface is designed to support frequency bandwidths of 5, 6, 7, and 8 MHz. A highly desirable service offering can be achieved with a single Radio Frequency channel. In some regions, the 5 MHz allocations provided for Time Division Duplex (TDD) applications may also be applied to mobile media distribution48.
The User Experience with MediaFLO Technology
A FLO-based programming lineup utilizes 30 frames-per-second (fps) QVGA (a Quarter Video Graphics Array or 240x320 pixels) with stereo audio includes 14 real-time streaming video channels of wide-area content (ex: national content) and 5 real-time streaming video channels of local market-specific content.
The delivery of non-real-time content allows immediate access to music, weather or news summaries by topic while real-time streaming services support live events such as sports. In addition to wide-area and local content, a large number of Internet Protocol (IP) data channels can be included in the programming line-up such as traffic information, financial information or local weather updates.
The ability to change channels quickly is considered a key user requirement. Equally important is watch time, which is designed to be comparable to talk time, if not longer, so as not to compromise the functionality of the mobile device. The FLO service is designed to provide the user with a viewing experience similar to a television viewing experience by providing a familiar type of program -guide user interface.
In addition to viewing high-quality video and audio content and IP data, the user may also have access to related interactive services, including the option to purchase a music album, ring tone, or download of a song featured in a music program. The user may also be able to purchase access to on-demand video programming, above and beyond the content featured on the program guide49.
Comparison with Other Mobile Multicast Media Technologies
The MediaFLO technology has not become global standard because its market growth has been inhibited by the limited availability of MediaFlo-ready phones. In the USA, where the iPhone (one of the most popular smartphones in the world) is considered to be common has not been able to push the MediaFLO technology because it lacked the antenna to receive Qualcomm MediaFlo TV programmes. Until now this has been a hindrance to MediaFLO market growth but thanks to mophie - the phone accessories maker, a new antenna has been built which will allow the iPhone and iPod touch to allow iPhone fans to be able to receive MediaFLO TV programmes on their phones. Now that an antenna is being built into a smartphone case, at least one of the barriers to MediaFlo’s adoption will come down and this is expected to make the MediaFLO technology popular. Unlike the DVB-H technology, Mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has a range of phones available to receive DVB-H signals in Europe and other continents such as Africa. Where the phones do not have the inbuilt antennas, they have manufactured antennas which are being sold as accessories to be fixed to such phones in order to be DVB-H complaints. This makes the DVB-H standard more popular than its American counterpart - MediaFLO 50. DVB-H technology can be deployed on a 2.5G network with GPRS/EDGE but 3G networks are recommended in order to deliver superior images. However the MediaFLO system works on only the 3G networks which imply that MNOs might have upgraded their network to 3G before considering this technology.
- Quote paper
- Stephen Osei-Akoto (Author), 2010, Designing a Business Model for Mobile TV on Mobile Devices, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/187978