Gap Fillers Could Be Key Issue in ATSC-MH Deployment

Research firm TeleAnalytics thinks balance of 2009 ATSC-M/H deployment "may be too aggressive."
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Research firm TeleAnalytics thinks balance of 2009 ATSC-M/H deployment "may be too aggressive."

According to research firm TeleAnalytics, deployment of gap fillers could delay broadcasters’ deployment of mobile DTV in the United States.

It the July issue of its TeleAnalytics Mobile TV Tracking Service (TMTS) [PDF], the report commented that “ATSC-M/H appears to be on track for a late summer trial in Washington, D.C., but the balance of the 2009 launch schedule (17 markets) may be too aggressive and commercial services might not start until 2010.”

In researching this report, I found a June 2009 update to TeleAnalytics' publication “Making Mobile TV pay: A 2005-2013 Market Analysis of the Service, Silicon, Terminal and Infrastructure Markets.” In the section, “The ATSC Promise,” the researcher emphasizes the need for coverage—both the number of stations and their signals on the ground. The report noted that the deployment of gap fillers from roof locations was a key ATSC-M/H issue. It also observed that Korean broadcasters had arrived at a solution “in the original small T-DBM coverage area” of Seoul. However Brazilian broadcasters were still trying to work out co-location arrangements and that this was hampering deployment of their “One-Seg” system.

As for the ATSC mobile DTV business case, the report noted the complexities in deployment.

“As analyzed, the dimensioning of the ATSC-M/H business case first of all depends on the number of stations that would be on line at any point in time and their geographical location.” And it cautions that “the enablement of the ATSC M/H Ad revenue stream requires the commissioning of an electronic audience measurement system at the earliest point in time.”

I found the cover of “Making Mobile TV Pay” interesting, as it shows a Japanese iPhone with a Softbank One Segment tuner/battery-pack add on. A similar cell phone/smart phone add-on or back-pack could prove an easy way to get ATSC Mobile DTV in the hands of consumers quickly in the U.S.