Mobile500 Alliance Promotes Mobile DTV Roll-Out

A new organization, calling itself the Mobile500 Alliance has been created to promote the ATSC Mobile DTV Alliance. The group, which includes 30 broadcast station groups, collectively owning 346 full-power TV stations in 167 markets, wants to accelerate the availability of mobile DTV to consumers nationwide. Stations in the Mobile500 Alliance reach approximately 90 percent of the United States viewing population, some 263 million persons.

"The Mobile500 Alliance aims to develop a Mobile DTV business model permitting consumers to view popular broadcast content, as well as non-broadcast content with enhanced features," said Colleen Brown, president and CEO of Fisher Communications and chair of the Mobile500 Alliance. "To that end, we will work to secure content arrangements with program suppliers and enhanced consumer device features with electronics manufacturers."

Other members in the group's initial organizing executive committee include executives from Capital Broadcasting Co., Fisher Communications, LIN Media, Schurz Communications, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, and the Titan Broadcast Group.

Other well-known broadcast groups joining the Mobile500 Alliance include the Tribune Broadcasting Group, Pappas Telecasting Companies, McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Co., Hubbard Broadcasting, Granite Broadcasting, and Gray Television.

Earlier this year NBC, Fox, ION Media and Pearl Mobile DTV formed the Mobile Content Venture to launch a national Mobile DTV content service. Members of this group include Belo, the Cox Media Group, E. W. Scripps, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, Media General, Post-Newsweek Stations and Raycom Media.

The formation of the Mobile500 Alliance and Mobile Content Venture should give consumer electronics manufacturers more confidence in rolling out products with Mobile DTV capability. Ideally cooperation between the two groups will speed the availability of Mobile DTV products to consumers while competition between them will drive new and innovative Mobile DTV services and applications.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.