GSM Association endorses IMB wireless standard

The GSM Association — one of the world’s most powerful trade associations — has endorsed the IMB (Integrated Mobile Broadcast) wireless standard for mobile television.

IMB is now part of the 3GPP Release 8 standard and is expected to have enough capacity to offer 20 television channels of excellent quality in a single 5MHz TDD slice of spectrum, multiplexed down to 256K per channel.

The IMB signal could be delivered across an entire 3G footprint without any burden being placed on the cellular network. The standard, however, would require the addition of extra transmitters.

The technology can be used to support both linear and nonlinear broadcast services, making it applicable to many markets across the globe. As a technology defined in 3GPP, drawing on MBMS definitions and with suitable compatibility to Unicast distribution, IMB can be deployed into existing networks with reuse of core network nodes, the GSM group said in a white paper on the technology.

IMB can be implemented in TDD spectrum, held, but currently unused by many operators as a part of their 3G license. This removes the requirement for new spectrum to be acquired by operators to bring an IMB-based services to market.

The GSM Association is a group of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardizing, deployment and promotion the GSM mobile telephone system. It claims as members nearly 800 mobile operators and more than 200 related companies represented the GSM mobile wireless standard worldwide.