DVB-H for the UK and the US
IBC 2004 has seen two announcements of major significance for the future development of services using DVB -H technology. At a press conference hosted by the DVB Project on the opening day of the exhibition , ntl announced that it is to link up with UK cellular operator O2 for a large scale commercial trial of DVB -H in Oxford . The following day, according to the EE Times, Houston-based company Crown Castle stated their intention to establish a nationwide DVB -H network in the United States .
Crown Castle will be able to bypass a potential regulatory tangle by using spectrum they acquired in a US government auction last year. The company has exclusive rights to use 5MHz of L-band spectrum that was previously used for weather services. Whilst the business model they will use has not yet been chosen, they are considering a number of options, including that of operating their own mobile TV service. As DVB -H services can be launched in this way – on a dedicated network without a pre-existing DVB -T network being in place – this move by Crown Castle shows that DVB -H has the potential to be deployed anywhere in the world.
The UK trial will give 500 people access to a 16-channel DVB -H service with terminals supplied by Nokia. These test channels will feature a range of programming including music, news, sports, drama and cartoons. The DVB -H transmissions on air at IBC provoked a huge amount of interest in visitors keen to see for themselves what a mobile TV future could look like. This ntl / O2 trial, along with Crown Castle ‘s venture in the USA , looks set to prove that DVB -H technology brings that future much closer.