Digital mobile TV pilot debuts in Spain

Von Computing SA

Abertis Telecom, Nokia and Telefonica Moviles Espana are starting a mobile TV pilot using Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H) technology.

The project, which is backed by major regional and local channels, is said to be the first of its kind to take place in Spain.

The pilot is a result of the convergence of mobile communications and TV broadcasting technologies.

The pilot will take place in Madrid and Barcelona between this September and February 2006, coinciding with the closing ceremony of the GSM World Congress 2006 in Barcelona.

According to the companies, 500 users from Madrid and Barcelona will be able to watch high quality broadcast TV content from Antena 3, Sogecable, Telecinco, Telemadrid, TVE and TV3 on Nokia 7710 smart phones equipped with a special accessory to receive mobile TV broadcasts.

With a wide color touch-screen (640 x 320 pixels) and stereo music player, users will also have the opportunity to take part in program-related interactive services while watching TV.

The first technical pilots prior to the actual consumer pilot started last month. The consumer pilot will allow the three companies to test the feasibility of DVB-H technology and new mobile TV services.

It will also be a chance to assess new business opportunities, as well as refine the user experience. The pilot will assist in possible market research that would enable Abertis Telecom, Nokia and Telefonica Moviles to measure public interest in mobile TV services.

Another important objective is to test the quality of the signal and broadcast in- and outdoors, in order to determine the best technical parameters for the viability of DVB-H based services.

Under the terms of the agreement, Telefonica Moviles is responsible for customer support, invoicing and interactive services.

Abertis Telecom will broadcast the programs in Madrid and Barcelona, and also resolve any technical issues with the DVB-H signal. Nokia will provide the Mobile TV solution and smart phones that will be used for the pilot.