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Wireless Community Supports DVB-H Open Standard, Encourages Competition and Innovation for Burgeoning Digital TV Market

Crown Castle Mobile Media, DiBcom, Freescale, Intel, Microtune, Nokia, O2, S-Communications, Silicon & Software Systems Ltd (S3), Texas Instruments, TTPCom, and UDcast Publicly Promote and Drive DVB-H to Mobile Phones

Apr 18, 2005

LAS VEGAS (April 18, 2005) - A number of players in the wireless industry today announced support for DVB-H (digital video broadcast - handheld), an open industry standard for the delivery of mobile broadcast digital TV (DTV) for the U.S., European and Asian marketplaces. DVB-H is experiencing broad support across the wireless ecosystem, including partners and competitors alike, who are working together to foster competition and innovation for the growing digital TV market. Such companies include wireless operators such as O2; multicast network operators such as Crown Castle Mobile Media [NYSE: CCI]; wireless infrastructure providers such as UDcast; handset manufacturers such as Nokia [NYSE: NOK]; software stack providers such as Silicon & Software Systems Ltd (S3); and semiconductor providers such as DiBcom, Freescale [NYSE: FSL], Intel [Nasdaq: INTC], Microtune® , Inc. [NASDAQ: TUNE], S-Communications, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) [NYSE: TXN] and TTPCom. Each company listed, plus many others worldwide, is putting support behind DVB-H in efforts to provide an open environment for mobile operators and broadcasters to reach the largely un-tapped but promising digital mobile TV market. 
DVB-H is an open, non-proprietary standard that will foster growth throughout the wireless market, allowing mobile DTV handsets and services to reach the mass market faster and at a lower cost to consumers. Additionally, DVB-H delivers an improved end user experience over current video streaming services that utilize cellular networks and reduce network capacity for voice services. Broadcast digital TV for mobile phones is a large opportunity for operators, broadcasters, handset manufacturers and silicon providers as it opens up new opportunities and provides additional users and revenue-generating services for digital TV services.
DVB-H trials are underway in the U.S., Germany, France, UK, Finland, Sweden and other countries, with more trials expected to launch later in 2005 and throughout 2006. Wider roll-out of DVB-H services is expected in 2006 and throughout 2007. In the U.S., DVB-H will be deployed using clear and "ready-for-use" spectrum that is available today, without interfering with existing analog TV stations or other TV or wireless services.
With DVB-H, consumers will be able to watch their favorite TV shows, sporting events, news and programming in real-time using their mobile phone at speeds comparable to watching their TV at home. To support the increasing consumer appetite for mobile TV without sacrificing battery life or voice call availability, DVB-H uses a technology called "time slicing" to enable up to eight hours of TV time on one battery charge. DVB-H's "time slicing" technology only provides information required for the one channel of content currently being watched which reduces power consumption and saves battery life. Since it is currently assumed that users will only "snack" on 15-20 minutes of TV programming at a time to catch up on news, sports, weather, major news and sporting events, and more, the battery life enabled by DVB-H will deliver support for voice usage and TV "snacking" throughout the day.

Wireless Community Shows Support for DVB-H

 

Crown Castle Mobile Media

Crown Castle Mobile Media, a subsidiary of Crown Castle International Corp (NYSE:CCI), intends to build and operate a dedicated DVB-H network for broadcasting digital television content and other rich media services to mobile devices. The network will utilize 5 MHz of vacant and unencumbered nationwide spectrum acquired by Crown Castle Mobile Media in FCC auction 46 in 2003, and will be built utilizing Crown Castle´s 10,000 plus tower network. Crown Castle Mobile Media and Nokia have recently completed successful DVB-H demonstration trials in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


"Open standards are expected to fuel innovation and growth in the mobile Digital TV market just as they did in the wireless voice market," said Michael Schueppert, President of Crown Castle Mobile Media. "We are pleased to see the broad and innovative support DVB-H is garnering as we continue to implement our business plan."


DiBcom

On February 7, 2005, DiBcom became the first company in the industry to introduce a mobile DTV chip based on the open industry DVB-H standard with the unveiling of its DIB7000-HTM chipset. Also an industry first, the DiB7000-H has already been demonstrated by Siemens in a fully functional mobile phone concept device. At NAB 2005 (DVB Booth SU11408), DiBcom announced that the drivers of its chipset have been ported onto Windows CE operating system. DiBcom´s support of Microsoft Windows Mobile software is a significant boost to developers planning to integrate DTV services into consumer devices such as Smartphones, PocketPCs and portable media players. To ease this integration, DiBcom is now offering a complete DIB7000-H reference design based on a DVB-H Secure Digital (SD) memory card that can be inserted into devices equipped with Windows Mobile software and an interface slot. 


DiBcom is a fabless semiconductor company that designs high-performance chipsets used at the heart of mobile broadcast digital TV as well as in automotive, PC/peripheral and handheld device applications. DiBcom has developed patented algorithms and architecture for fast and accurate channel estimation and high Doppler compensation that enable low-power portable TV reception everywhere and provide "Proven Performance" at speeds exceeding 100 mph.


"DVB-H clearly offers the lowest cost infrastructures for the operators and the highest mobility for consumers," said Yannick Levy, president and CEO, DiBcom. "We are pleased that the first mobile phone concept devices on the market are currently being standardized by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) with the 'Proven Performance' of DiBcom's technology as implementation guidelines."


Freescale

Freescale continues to drive the DVB-H standard worldwide with easy, cost-effective, mobile connectivity technology. Freescale demonstrated the industry´s first direct conversion zero IF tuner for DVB-H in February 2004, and first showcased its handheld DVB-H solution for mobile television at 3GSM World Congress 2005.


"Freescale is actively creating 'mobilevision' designs that converge television broadcasts and 2.5G and 3G cellular networks, providing the high bandwidth necessary to drive a whole new market for mobile entertainment," said Ken Hansen, Freescale's Senior Technical Fellow and Director of Advanced Technologies. "Freescale's direct conversion, zero intermediate frequency (ZIF) approach, allows for very low power consumption, reduced part count, extended battery life, and reduced form factors for mobile phones. Our solution is generating marked interest among major handset manufacturers, who will benefit tremendously from consolidated industry support of the DVB-H standard."


Intel "As a leader in wireless and mobile computing technologies with its Intel Centrino

TM

 based notebooks and Intel XScale® technology based handhelds and phones, Intel continues to drive and supports DVB-H that will enable the rapid adoption of the wireless lifestyle. Delivering TV programming and exciting data content to mobile users is next step in the convergence of the mobile phone," said Sam Arditi, vice president and general manager of Intel´s Cellular and Handheld Group. "Consumers want to enjoy a great user experience and have access to their entertainment and personal data without having to be encumbered by the device, supporting standards like DVB-H with Intel XScale technology based handset platforms helps to make this a reality."


Microtune

Microtune, inventor of the single-chip TV tuner, pioneers advanced silicon technology for forward-looking applications in cable TV, digital TV and mobile TV. The company is committed to international standards, actively supporting DVB-H for handheld TV devices. 


"Our silicon tuners offer core technology that allows our customers to deliver products with exceptional digital TV reception, whether in very large-screen televisions or in very small mobile devices," said James A. Fontaine, Microtune President and CEO. "By optimizing our TV tuner chips to deliver high-performance and reliability in an open-standards environment, we not only accelerate our OEM customers' time-to-market with innovative consumer products, but also help them to propel new electronics devices into the high-volume mainstream. DVB-H is an important standard for Microtune in developing advanced tuner solutions for mobile digital TV."


Nokia

Nokia is working within the DVB-H community to develop terminal and network solutions, and expects to bring a commercial mobile TV device based on the Series 60 platform to market during 2006. By making DVB-H a key feature on the popular Series 60 platform, Nokia will rapidly bring mobile TV into mass markets. Currently, Nokia has pilot DVB-H projects underway in Germany, the UK, the US and Finland and will be launching trials in other markets during 2005.


"Nokia is already involved in live DVB-H trials around the world and is working to bring mobile television to the hands of eager wireless users. Widespread industry support by network operators, handset manufacturers, component suppliers and others involved in the value chain will create a competitive environment where not only the industry will benefit, but the consumers who will be the ultimate beneficiaries of choice," said Richard Sharp, vice president of Nokia's Rich Media business.


O2

O2, a leading European mobile operator, has unveiled plans to conduct the UK's first usability trial of multi-channel television to mobile phones, beginning this summer. In partnership with ntl's Broadcast division, O2 will provide around 500 customers with a multimedia phone with a built-in digital TV receiver. Participants are expected to be able to choose up to 16 TV channels comprising music, sport, news, comedy, soaps, documentary, drama, cartoons and specialist channels. 


O2 has more than 23 million customers and some 13,000 employees. It reported revenues for the year ended 31 March 2004 of £5.646 billion. Data represented nearly 24% of total service revenues in the quarter ending 31 December 2004. 


S-Communications

S-communications is a leading edge fabless semiconductor company developing DVB-H compatible single chip solutions for the emerging mobile TV market. The company believes its proprietary technology will deliver world class performance in the areas of power consumption and mobility at low cost. Headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, the company´s management team is comprised of wireless industry veterans from companies including Philips, RF Microdevices, Sirf and Trimble Navigation. 


"Based on the number of participants supporting DVB-H including wireless operators, handset manufacturers and semiconductor suppliers, S-Communications believes that this standard will be the leading choice for transmission of mobile TV to consumers," said Morteza Saidi, Founder and CEO of S-Communications.


Silicon & Software Systems Ltd (S3)

S3 successfully demonstrated its onHandTVTM software solution for mobile broadcast digital TV in February at the 3GSM World Congress. S3´s onHandTV provides a complete IPDC over DVB H software solution based on the DVB-CBMS IP Datacast standard. The onHandTV product includes Protocol Stacks, Middleware and Applications, providing a low footprint software solution. 


"onHandTV is a compelling offering that enables OEMs, ODMs and Semiconductor manufacturers to rapidly enter the Mobile Digital TV market with a cost effective, high performance solution," said John O'Brien, CEO of S3.


For more information on S3, please visit: 

www.s3group.com/onhandtv

or email: onHandTV@s3group.com


Texas Instruments Texas Instruments introduced the industry´s first single-chip for mobile broadcast digital TV, code named "Hollywood" in October 2004. "Hollywood" is a complete single-chip solution for handsets that supports DVB-H for mobile DTV in the U.S. and Europe as well as the Japanese standard, ISDB-T (integrated services digital broadcast - terrestrial) and works with TI´s OMAP

TM

 processors to display crisp, clear images on the display. "Hollywood" uses TI´s DRP

TM

 technology to achieve the lowest power, smallest size and lowest cost mobile DTV solution in the industry which will be key to driving DTV into consumer cell phones. (See: 

www.ti.com/wirelessdtv

)


"Without an open ecosystem in the mobile digital TV marketplace, revenue opportunities, innovation and services to consumers will be restricted," said Gilles Delfassy, senior vice president and general manager of TI's Wireless Terminals Business Unit. "In large part this will be accomplished through wide industry support of open standards such as DVB-H at every level of the wireless ecosystem, including partners and competitors alike."


TTPCom

TTPCom Ltd, the world´s leading independent supplier of digital wireless technology, supports the DVB-H standard and licenses their DVB-H demodulator/decoder technology to the industry. Semiconductor vendors will be able to deploy high performance DVB-H receiver solutions quickly and cost effectively using this intellectual property from TTPCom.


TTPCom's intimate understanding of handset manufacturers' requirements and the importance of low power consumption for mobile/battery powered applications has resulted in a dedicated hardware design, without embedded processor. The demodulator/ decoder design supports a variety of low IF and zero IF front end tuner architectures and provides standard MPEG transport stream and IP data stream outputs. Both DVB-H and DVB-T receiver functionality is supported on a common hardware platform so enabling devices to be targeted at both markets.


Paul Hanlon, DVB-H product manager at TTPCom comments: "The ability to deliver broadcast multi-media content to mobile phones and handheld devices opens up huge new opportunities for the industry. TTPCom are committed to supporting the DVB-H standard as the way to go in digital mobile TV."


UDcast

UDcast are heavily involved in this market, notably through a close partnership with Nokia, looking at the utilization of DVB-T networks for the delivery of content to mobile handheld devices. 


The UDcast IPE-10 implements all the required as well as the optional features of the DVB-H standard: time slicing and forward error correction. Furthermore radio impairments, characteristic of mobile environments, are mitigated by the IPE-10´s forward error correction mechanisms. The IPE-10 also delivers sophisticated head-end functionality, including network management, security, quality of service, and support for hand-over from cell to cell.

 

UDcast´s IPE Manager contains network element management features including group management, which considerably facilitates the roll out of large DVB-H networks and the implementation of DVB-H services. The IPE Manager addresses the problem of efficient control of the tens or hundreds of IPEs distributed throughout the DVB-H network. UDcast´s IPE-10 and IPE Manager are the most popular DVB-H equipments currently used by leading industry players.