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Mobile TV kicks off: Siemens presents solution live in Hanover


CeBIT, Hanover, Mar 6, 2006, Soccer goes mobile: The Soccer World Cup will be the test run for television on the mobile phone, with the breakthrough onto the mass market expected to take place by the next Olympic Games in 2008, at the latest. But visitors to CeBIT can already try out mobile television at the trade fair. On Stand A31 in Hall 26, Siemens will be giving a live demonstration of how everything works, and what innovations the mobile phone user can expect. Among other things, it will be showing that mobile radio can do more than simply bring TV to a small screen. With mobile phone connections acting as the return channel, mobile phone TV becomes interactive, and viewers can directly participate in the program.

The Soccer World Cup will see the first larger-scale pilot experiments in Germany with mobile television. This is about having the right technology for mobile broadcasting, i.e. the transmission of TV programs suitable for the mobile phone. Above all, “suitable for the mobile phone” means that the pictures appear needle-sharp on the phone’s display, and that the restricted screen size is taken into account. When soccer matches are transmitted, for instance, the live pictures have to be processed so that the ball is not just seen as a tiny dot on the pitch in the overall picture. To achieve this, the picture is zoomed in on, and the enlarged section then transmitted “near live” – with a short delay due to the extra processing involved.

Mobile broadcasting is not to be confused with streaming by means of the Unicast method, i.e. unilaterally calling up videos via broadband mobile technologies such as UMTS. The major mobile providers in Germany have been offering this technology for quite some time now. But until the same can be said for mobile phone TV, the matter of which standard is to be used first needs to be settled. As is so often the case with completely new technologies, a variety of technologies are also competing for predominance in mobile broadcasting. So, the soccer tournament will be used as the test-piece for deciding which technology is the best. Competing in the final will be DMB and DVB-H: DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcast) is based on the standard used for digital radio, i.e. DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast). In contrast, DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) is based on DVB-T, the technology used for terrestrial transmission of digital television (DVB - Terrestrial).

There is one special feature for Germany. In this country, radio is a matter for the federal states, and they will first of all have to reach agreement on the allocation of frequency bands. But mobile phone TV should also be widely available in Germany no later than the Olympic Games in the summer of 2008. Commenting on this point, Stefan Schneiders, Mobile TV Product Manager at Siemens Communications, says: “Olympia live on the mobile phone – the summer games of 2008 will bring the breakthrough onto the mass market, and not just in Germany. Up to 100 million viewers throughout the world will then be watching mobile television.”

The Siemens Communications Group – and with it the entire mobile communications sector – show a clear preference for DVB-H. This technology allows TV broadcasts to be received without difficulty on mobile equipment – including inside buildings and on underground trains – and a larger variety of programs to be provided. Instead of just the four to eight programs that are possible with DMB, up to thirty mobile phone TV programs can be provided with DVB-H. In addition, interactive services are easier to implement with DVB-H – with mobile phone connections serving as the return channel. This makes completely new services possible – such as betting, voting for the “super star” or the “goal of the month”, interactive advertising formats and mobile-phone TV shopping channels.

DVB-H television live at the fair
In cooperation with a broadcaster Siemens DVB-H radio technology will be covering the greater Hanover area with DVB-H television for CeBIT. Visitors to CeBIT will therefore be able to test at first hand the new DVB-H terminals and prototypes being presented at the event by several manufacturers and mobile phone companies – with television programs being broadcast by, among others, ARD, ZDF, Sat1 and DSF. It will also be possible to identify one decisive advantage of the Siemens technology – namely, that it is standardized and works without any difficulty with the terminals of by far the most providers. On the Siemens stand itself, it will be possible to see the complete range of mobile broadcasting equipment, and how the Siemens technology enables viewers to become interactively involved in the program over mobile phone connections. This will be demonstrated with a town quiz.

Siemens Communications
The Siemens Communications Group is one of the largest players in the global telecommunications industry. The company offers a full-line portfolio of innovative solutions for voice and data communication. Its comprehensive offerings range from devices right through to complex network infrastructures and services for wireless, fixed and enterprise networks. It is the largest Group within the Siemens organization and operates in more than 160 countries around the world. In fiscal 2005 (September 30), its 54,500-strong workforce posted sales of over 13 billion euros.

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Informations nummer: COM MN 2006 03.10 e


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