Mobile phone operators are determined that mobile TV is the way forward as 3, Orange, Telefonica, and Vodafone have rolled out a test project in the Bristol area.
Called TDtv, the service is based on the UMTS TD-CDMA-2GPP MBMS standard; in plain English, the service takes advantage of unused 3G spectrum bands. Only smartphones that support TDtv can receive the trial broadcasts, and only then if they have a MobiTV application.
This “unused spectrum” was bought by the operators in 2000 for mobile internet service use, as the prediction was the it would take off astronomically. Because so few people have adopted it, it sits there unwanted. A spokesperson for Orange told Reuters that the spectrum can handle up to 50 mobile TV channels.
The operators are using the trial to determine which mobile TV broadcasting standard to adopt, as TDtv is not the only option.
A poll has recently showed that people would be willing to pay up to €10 for mobile TV, so the operators can already work out the finances before launching.