Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Update on IPWireless' TDtv for TV-over-wireless

There are some disadvantages to the new TDtv solution for TV-over-wireless from IPWireless, as James Barford of Enders Analysis rightly points out:

The main advantages of the TDtv technology is that it can share some elements of
WCDMA 3G infrastructure to theoretically reduce equipment costs (and handset
size/costs), and it can use ‘spare’ unpaired 3G spectrum to operate. It
would however still cost money to roll out (it still needs separate RF
transmitters installed on each base station), and if volumes are low it would
not necessarily be cheaper than a common standard such as DVB-H.

There are also some major disadvantages:
Integrating the network into a 3G network means that each operator has to build
its own TDtv network rather than having a 3rd party build a network that all
operators can access. Our assessment of the economics imply that most
European operators would actually lose money on mobile TV if they had to build
their own networks.

Not all operators have spare unpaired 3G spectrum (e.g. Vodafone

Using spectrum at around 2GHz would require a much larger number of base stations than using terrestrial TV/radio spectrum or the L-band, which would probably nullify any network cost savings.

It appears to be much behind DVB-H and DAB-IP in development terms, particularly in terms of handset development, which would be key to any consumer
adoption. It is this last point that is the killer in the short term!

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