Tuesday, January 15, 2008

SFR and Alcatel-Lucent Test DVB-SH Mobile TV Terrestrial Network

SFR, the second largest mobile telecommunications operator in France serving some 18 million users, and Alcatel-Lucent completed a six month DVB-SH pilot in December 2007. The pilot used pre-commercial low-power terrestrial repeaters for the broadcast part, co-localized with several SFR's 3G+ operational sites. The broadcast signal from a satellite was emulated by a transmitter located in a high-altitude helicopter perceived as a fixed point. The mobile terminals used were pre-commercial terminals provided by Sagem Mobiles and Samsung Electronics offering an improved reception quality thanks to the antenna diversity related to the use of the S-Band (2.2GHz).


The companies said the tests validated that it is possible to reuse the 3G+ sites, towers and antennas in order to deploy a DVB-SH Mobile TV broadcast network in the frequency bands adjacent to UMTS (i.e. in the S band at 2.2 GHz, currently available all over Europe).


Furthermore, tests performed in the city of Pau (South-West of France), both outdoors and inside buildings, validated several fundamental assumptions on the performances of a DVB-SH network, notably the coverage, continuity and quality of service.


In particular, the tests confirmed that it only requires that portions of the 3G+ sites are equipped with DVB-SH repeaters to allow Mobile TV coverage inside buildings identical to the 3G+ coverage. This validates the economical efficiency of the deployment of a DVB-SH terrestrial network for Mobile TV broadcast with a very high coverage quality.


In addition, tests related to the satellite part of a hybrid DVB-SH network were performed using a helicopter as a fixed point at high altitude, thus emulating a geostationary satellite. These tests confirmed that, for the user of a mobile terminal in a pedestrian as well as a vehicular situation, the signals coming from the satellite perfectly combined with those coming from the terrestrial repeaters, in a transparent manner for the terminal.


The rigorous methodological approach followed in the framework of this test, which relies on the analysis of network deployment hypotheses at the same time real and diversified, shows the flexibility of Alcatel-Lucent's "Unlimited Mobile TV" solution. This solution allows the adaptation of the DVB-SH network deployment to the capacity needs (i.e. number of channels) and to the level of coverage desired by the operators, while securing the economic efficiency of the deployment and the perfect integration of the DVB-SH network with their preexisting 3G+ network.


With almost 18 million customers, SFR is the second largest mobile telecommunications operator in France. Operating its own GSM/GPRS and UMTS/HSDPA networks, SFR is able to provide a complete range of mobile telephony and multimedia services, as well as mobile data solutions to its personal, SOHO and business customers. SFR has become the operator of choice for new uses of mobile phones, having been the first operator to launch 3G and 3G+ services on the French market, and now boasts 3,5 million 3G/3G+ customers (September 2007). SFR benefits from a stable ownership structure, with two mahttp://www.alcatel-lucent.comhttp://www.sfr.fr

  • On August 22, 2007, the European Commission adopted a proposal to select systems for mobile satellite services at European level. If adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council, this new selection mechanism will allow Mobile TV based on DVB-SH in the S-Band to develop across Europe beginning in 2009.

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