DVB-SH trial enables a perfect blend of satellite and terrestrial networks for mobile TV

Date: Thu, 02/19/2009 - 14:30

The first DVB-SH trial launched in Turin by the Italian broadcaster RAI, the mobile operator 3 Italia, Alcatel-Lucent and Eutelsat has shown excellent results
DVB-SH trial enables a perfect blend of satellite and terrestrial networks for mobile TV

The first DVB-SH trial launched in Turin by the Italian broadcaster RAI, the mobile operator 3 Italia, Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and Eutelsat has shown excellent results. The initial results of the trial demonstrated the high reception performances of the new technology for mobile TV on commercial terminals. Once fully deployed, this solution will capture mobile TV signals both from satellite and terrestrial networks.
The trial is being overseen by RAI Technological Strategies Dept. through RAI Research & Innovation Centre, and by 3 Italia, the first operator in the world to offer mobile TV services based on DVB-H technology. Alcatel-Lucent provides the DVB-SH transmission equipment, the network integration and the necessary technical support. Eutelsat has been providing the satellite capacity for content distribution as well as uplink facilities.
This trial in Turin demonstrates the advantages of a multi-layer terrestrial network blending a low-power mobile network and a medium-power broadcast network.
The excellent radio coverage was achieved thanks to the combined radio contributions from the RAI sites and from the 3Italia sites: the former guarantee outdoor and vehicular city coverage, the latter offer indoor coverage in the city center.
The first phase of this trial confirmed the capability of DVB-SH technology to integrate terrestrial broadcast networks with 3G mobile networks, to make available a large number of high-quality mobile TV channels, in various usage conditions.
In a second phase of this trial, after the launch in March 2009 of Eutelsat’s W2A satellite - which will carry an S-band payload managed by Solaris Mobile (a joint venture of Eutelsat and SES Astra) - the full capabilities of DVB-SH-based services by satellite and terrestrial network infrastructure will be demonstrated in a real business situation. A sample panel of users with commercial DVB-SH handsets and in-car devices will become part of the first large scale demonstration of DVB-SH mobile broadcasting in Europe. Furthermore, high and very-high power DVB-SH terrestrial transmission equipment will be added to the network.
Claudio Cappon, General Director of RAI, said: “RAI’s commitment to this trial confirms its dedication to the continuous development of new, advanced content services to subscribers.”
Luigi Rocchi, Technology Strategies director of RAI, underlined the importance of the Public Service role in testing new technologies, in order to develop innovative end user services, to promote the culture of innovation, and to contribute to the development of the country.
Antonella Ambriola, 3 Italia Chief Technical Officer, said: "As leading digital mobile TV operator, 3 Italia provided its expertise in the DVB-SH trial, proving once again to be a company at the cutting edge of innovation and technology".
Olivier Coste, chairman of Alcatel-Lucent’s mobile broadcast activities said he is very satisfied with the first positive results of the trial, that “clearly confirms the capability of the DVB-SH standard to extend and optimize the quality of service enjoyed by mobile TV viewers in Italy.”
Giuliano Berretta, Eutelsat Communications Chairman and CEO said: “The arrival of Eutelsat’s W2A opens a new era for satellite-delivered mobile services where for the first time in Europe satellite and terrestrial infrastructures will work together to trigger a whole new market for the provision of mobile services for vehicular and personal use.”
About DVB-SH
DVB-SH (Digital Video Broadcasting – Satellite services to Handheld) is an evolution of terrestrial DVB-H. It provides high efficiency for frequency use and allows integration of satellite and terrestrial networks. Thanks to sophisticated encoding and reception techniques, DVB-SH offers excellent radio performances for radio reception in indoor and outdoor environments. The DVB-SH standard was published by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in March 2008.

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