Alcatel-Lucent launches DVB-SH testing in France

Alcatel-Lucent last week initiated a technical test of its solution for broadcast mobile TV using the DVB-SH standard in the S-band (2.2GHz), analyzing the technology’s ability to deliver high-quality mobile television to a mass audience.

For the test, the company is using pre-commercial low-power terrestrial repeaters co-localized with several 3G operational sites provided by French mobile service provider SFR in southwest France. A transmitter located in a high-altitude helicopter perceived as a fixed point will emulate the broadcast signal from a satellite. Sagem and Samsung Electronics have lent a series of pre-commercial mobile terminals to the effort, which offer an improved reception quality due to the antenna diversity related to the use of the 2.2GHz S-band. The setup will allow Alcatel-Lucent to scrutinize the performance of DVB-SH inside and outside buildings and in moving vehicles.

DVB-SH is a hybrid satellite/terrestrial standard derived from DVB-H. It involves the use of a high-power satellite to deliver a mobile TV signal, along with a series of terrestrial repeaters for gap coverage. Some consider the standard as a potential solution to some of the key challenges to mass mobile TV deployment in Europe, most notably spectrum availability and cost-effective gap coverage outside of major urban areas. Spectrum availability is not an issue with DVB-SH because it works in the S-band frequency, which in Europe has been dedicated for the purpose of satellite-to-mobile signal transmission for several years.

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