Sprint to Partner on DC Mobile DTV Tests

Sprint, the third largest U.S. mobile phone operator, will be the wireless carrier partner for the Open Mobile Video Coalition’s consumer field trial of digital mobile TV, scheduled to begin by March in the Washington-Baltimore metro area. The long-anticipated agreement includes use of the Samsung Moment, a full –function handset exclusively available from Sprint, based on initial research indicating that participants will only want to carry one device for their traditional mobile phone (voice and data) usage as well as mobile DTV service. The Samsung Moment is built around the Samsung mobile DTV chip, unveiled in autumn, the first single-chip solution for the ATSC mobile DTV standard. The Samsung handset uses a 3.5-inch OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) screen, one of the first times OLED technology is being used on a consumer handset.

Although the start date for the DC-area test has not been set, eight local area TV stations are committed to transmitting up to 20 channels of free and fee-based programming to hundreds of devices that will be deployed. In addition to the Samsung’s Moment, users will be able to pick up the signals via a Dell mini netbook, an LG Mobile DTV and through the Tivit Wi-Fi accessory, which also debuted at the OMVC preview on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Gary Arlen

Gary Arlen, a contributor to Broadcasting & Cable, NextTV and TV Tech, is known for his visionary insights into the convergence of media + telecom + content + technology. His perspectives on public/tech policy, marketing and audience measurement have added to the value of his research and analyses of emerging interactive and broadband services. Gary was founder/editor/publisher of Interactivity Report, TeleServices Report and other influential newsletters; he was the long-time “curmudgeon” columnist for Multichannel News as well as a regular contributor to AdMap, Washington Technology and Telecommunications Reports; Gary writes regularly about trends and media/marketing for the Consumer Technology Association's i3 magazine plus several blogs.