Solaris Mobile, Alcatel-Lucent and TowerCast announced the first satellite broadcast infrastructure to demonstrate potential mobile TV, digital radio ad data services using the DVB-SH (digital video broadcasting satellite service to hand-helds). It will be rolled out in Paris and surrounding suburbs.
The idea of using a combination of terrestrial and satellite links to provide communications isn't new. Sirius XM Radio uses terrestrial repeaters to supplement its satellite digital audio radio service. Other companies are using ancillary terrestrial repeaters to fill in two-way satellite voice and data coverage. What is unique is the use of the DVB-SH standard to provide a variety of broadcast services. The satellite will provide coverage over a wide area, including rural areas. Terrestrial repeaters will provide coverage in locations where satellite reception is not possible.
Alcatel-Lucent is providing the DVB-SH network integration and terrestrial repeaters installed at four TowerCast sites. Eutelsat will provide the channel multiplex platform to supply the terrestrial repeaters. Channels will also be distributed directly through the W2A satellite to mobile devices. The hybrid network is designed to deliver fast, efficient, seamless mobile TV service.
Solaris Mobile is a joint venture between Eutelsat and SES Astra. It was established to develop next-generation mobile DTV services via satellite. Solaris intends to operate in the 2 GHz band, which is reserved for the exclusive use of hybrid satellite and terrestrial mobile services.
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.
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