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Mobile TV takes three steps forward in Asia, North America, one step back in Europe

On the deployments and redeployments front, Swisscom is replacing its Swiss Air TV DVB-H service, naming insufficient DVB-H-compatible devices to make the old service a success. With Switzerland’s sales of more than 600,000 iPhones, this change in strategy was probably inevitable. The mobile TV that replaces it will use HSPA/UMTS/Edge instead.

China Mobile is launching a commercial CMMB mobile TV service using both satellite and terrestrial, like DVB-SH in Europe, with four national and two local channels targeting 500 million users in 300 Chinese cities across 27 provinces, and embracing 67 currently available mobile handset models.

Hong Kong’s Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) recently invited bids for radio spectrum for a May 2010 auction to provide mobile TV services in Hong Kong. "At present, 2.5G and 3G mobile operators are deploying streaming-type, point-to-point technologies to deliver audio-visual content to consumers. The assignment of the 678MHz-686MHz band will enable the deployment of broadcast-type, point-to-multipoint technologies to deliver audio-visual content to a much larger number of consumers," said an OFTA spokesperson.

Boston’s public broadcaster WGBH is using Grass Valley's Thomson platform to simulcast two mobile DTV channels in the area’s first ATSC mobile video service with. The Thomson ATSC mobile DTV terrestrial broadcast technology is backward-compatible with legacy ATSC transmission systems, enabling stations to use their existing DTV channel and the mandated ATSC 8-VSB modulation scheme.