Mobile DTV Trials Begin in Norway

OSLO, NORWAY: Mobile TV trails have launched in this Scandinavian stronghold. A consortium of private and public broadcasters initiated a two-year trial of T-DMB mobile digital television and radio service under the brand name "MiniTV."

Participating in the project are public-service broadcaster NRK and private groups TV 2 and Modern Times Group/Viasat. Four transmitters throughout the Greater Oslo region carry three NRK channels, TV 2, TV 2 Nyhetskanalen and MTG's TV3. The same T-DMB receivers can also receive the 15 DAB radio channels emitted nationwide by NRK and private broadcaster P4. Some 1 million people live in the Greater Oslo region.

The MiniTV service is operated by Norges Mobil-TV (NMTV), which is co-owned by NRK, TV 2 and MTG. Norwegian regulators give NMTV a two-year pilot license running until July, 2011; at that point, the company will be able to apply for permanent T-DMB licenses and expand beyond Oslo.

NRK1, NRK2 and NRK3, as well as the radio channels, will be available free to viewers for the entire trial period; MTG and TV 2 are considering usage fees for their channels. Additional interactive services, traffic information and on-demand programs are planned for launch later in 2009.

The T-DMB transmitters are located at Tryvasshøgda, Kolsås, Brannfjell and Røverkollen. Paneda AS is managing the MiniTV transmission network, which incorporates equipment from Factum Electronics, Rohde & Schwartz, OnTimeTek and Pixtree.

Norwegian mobile services Web site has posted a review of the MiniTV service and deemed it overall "a good solution" rating it five out of six with the caveat that indoor-reception could be spotty.-- from Radio World