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TDtv is dead - long live iMB!

I've had some interesting chats recently with vendors, operators and analysts focused on the mobile TV market. There's little doubt that the hype surrounding mobile TV in 2006, when Italian operators rushed out DVB-H networks in time for the World Cup, has well and truly disappeared. It was not possible to maintain enthusiasm for networks that simply were not feasible to build for reasons of spectrum availability and cost.

It may be the case that 3G mobile TV take-up so far is not exactly impressive. But you'd be wrong to think that companies have given up on broadcast services as a potential winner. Mediaflo is still pursuing its dream of a "Mediaflo service provider" outside the US, and US-based MobiTV is planning to bring its technology to enable services outside the US.

Further, the 3GPP has continued to evolve standards for mobile broadcast TV. Indeed, Release 8 includes a new definition called integrated mobile broadcast (IMB). IMB now includes IPWireless' TDtv technology, which proposed making use of TDD spectrum to deploy MBMS. What IMB does, says IPWireless, is bring TDtv into the 3GPP fold, and thus makes it a much more interesting proposition for 3G mobile operators.

The name TDtv will disappear. But IPWireless hopes to play a major role in enabling IMB services, and indeed plans to bring the first chipset onto the market.
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