Masterclassing

DAB Standard Boost for Mobile TV

David Murphy

BT has welcomed the approval of a revised DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) standard, which allows Mobile TV and virtually any other content to be broadcast reliably using Internet-based technologies. The revised standard will underpin the BT Movio service, the UKs first wholesale broadcast mobile entertainment service, which will launch in the UK later this summer.
As part of the revised EN 300 401 specification, The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has included a capability which, using IP to run on a DAB network, allows audio, video and other data to be broadcast efficiently and reliably.
With the continuing debate around standards for broadcasting TV and radio to mobile phones, the approval of this technology as part of the DAB ETSI standard reinforces BTs view that the eventual winner in this technology race will not be a single standard or technology, but a combination of these. BT believes that 3G, WLAN, DAB, DVB-H and other technologies will combine using the unifying quality of IP to deliver Mobile TV and radio to consumers.
The approval of this latest enhancement to the DAB standard supports what weve been saying for some time says BT Movio Managing Director, Emma Lloyd. We will see multiple standards for mobile TV and radio appearing in different markets across the globe. Those adopting a multi-standard approach will therefore emerge as the winners in this potentially lucrative market.
Consumers want simple access to high quality TV and radio wherever they are. By using a platform based on IP, we can join different technologies and standards together to give the consumer a seamless experience to enjoy their favourite TV and radio programmes on their mobile phone.
BT says it has chosen to launch BT Movio via a DAB-IP-based platform for three key reasons. Firstly, because DAB provides the only national broadcast capacity available in the UK today and for the next couple of years. Should DVB-H or other IP capable broadcast standards become available in the future, the company says, BT Movio could potentially integrate these seamlessly, to provide consumers with further choice of TV and radio channels.
Secondly, by using the DAB network, BT Movio can also offer access to all of the UKs DAB digital radio stations, in addition to Mobile TV. One of the key findings from the recent BT Movio pilot was that while Mobile TV was extremely popular, consumers found the digital radio aspect of the service equally attractive.
Finally, DAB-IP is currently the only available platform which is efficient enough to use the existing digital radio capacity in the UK to deliver several TV channels and a 7-day programme guide. 
The EN 300 401 V1.4.1 standard can be downloaded free of charge here.