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New Standard Further Opens FLO Protocol Stack

The Telecommunications Industry Association has approved the Forward Link Only Media Adaptation Layer Specification, the FLO Forum announced. Following review by the TIA TR47.1 Engineering Committee, the specification will be published as TIA-1130, marking yet another step towards the full and open interoperability of the FLO protocol stack.

The new TIA specification builds upon the previous FLO Air Interface and Transport Layer standards—published as TIA-1099 and TIA-1120 respectively—by setting out separate protocols for the adaptation and delivery of the three major service classes supported by a FLO network: real-time audio/video, non-real-time and IP datacast services.

The FLO Forum said the new standard enables operators of FLO-based mobile TV networks to offer subscribers a wider choice of content and services from multiple providers in future. Services may include real-time services, such as live news and sports coverage; non-real-time services, such as “clipcast” video and audio, delivered in the background and watched on demand or out of coverage; and localized IP datacast information services, such as sports scores, traffic updates or stock trackers, which have the potential to replace bulk SMS alerts in the long-term.

An initial draft of the FLO Media Adaptation Layer Specification was developed and approved by the FLO Forum’s Technical Committee and then submitted as an input technical contribution for full and open review, including technical contribution by non-FLO Forum members, by the TIA TR47.1 Engineering Committee. A wide range of the FLO Forum’s global membership contributed—including Korea’s Net&Tv, France’s Streamezzo, and Newport Media and Roundbox from the Unites States. Further members, including conVisual AG, Irdeto, Maspro Denkoh Corp., Qualcomm, Rohde & Schwarz, Spirent Communications, Toshiba Corp., Verimatrix Inc. and VectorMAX Corp., were also involved in the review and approval of the specification.

“The underlying potential of FLO technology to deliver non-real-time and datacast content offers the opportunity to develop innovative, cost-effective and bandwidth-efficient services that transcend the traditional notion of ‘mobile TV,’” said Mohy Abdelgany, president and CEO of Newport Media. “The completion of this specification defines the delivery methods for such services, creating a framework in which multiple vendors can develop interoperable and innovative offerings. This in turn enables FLO network operators to provide a flexible array of entertainment content and information services to the end user.”

This is the seventh FLO Forum-developed specification to be published by the TIA. The FLO Forum is a body of more than 90 global wireless industry leaders dedicated to the open standardization of FLO technology for mobile multimedia broadcast.