Bristol given first look at new Orange mobile telly

Latest standard gets its run out

Latest standard gets its run out

Orange will be the first operator to try out a new mobile TV technology in a citywide pilot in Bristol later this year.

Orange CEO Sanjiv Ahuja told the 3GSM Congress in Barcelona that the Bristol trial will kick off in the second half of 2006 and will use technology provided by IPWireless known as TDtv.

Unlike other mobile TV technologies such as DVB-H, currently under examination by O2 in Oxford, and DAB-IP, the basis of the BT Movio service, TDtv needs no new broadcast infrastructure.

Instead, the technology uses unpaired 3G spectrum which was dished out to most operators as part of the third generation licence auctions that took place some years ago.

According to an IPWireless spokesman, making use of the generally unoccupied spectrum helps operators feel better about their previous licence spending. "There's an emotional issue. With the prices they paid for 3G licences, if the next big thing they do doesn't use 3G, they can look a little red-faced," he said.

Orange will be the first to experiment with the technology in the UK, although Ahuja said the operator is trialling various sorts of mobile TV technologies. "It's really early days but I believe we are making an impact and we are learning a lot," he added.

According to Ahuja, a number of issues surrounding mobile entertainment are yet to be worked out satisfactorily, including DRM, regulation and how consumers can keep content when they upgrade their handsets.

He said: "Everyone is jockeying for position in this emerging market. I'm all for competition but there are still a number of areas where we as an industry must co-operate."