Berne, 27 October 2006
From 1 November 2006 until the end of January 2007 some 200 people in the city of Berne will be testing mobile TV via DVB-H technology. Swisscom Broadcast is conducting a trial in conjunction with Swisscom Mobile, sunrise and Orange to see whether DVB-H adequately meets the public's needs with regard to mobile radio and television.
Mobile TV is already a reality for mobile phone users thanks to UMTS. But to ensure that there will be no bottlenecks as demand increases in future, alternative technologies such as DVB-H are being tested. The digital transmission standard DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld) is based on radio broadcasting technology and enables mobile TV to be received on mobile phones. A system will be used for the Berne test which relies both on radio and mobile communications technology. The TV channels are broadcast via a DVB-H radio network. The mobile communications network can be used in parallel as a feedback channel for the exchange of access data or for interactive services.
Swisscom Broadcast tested the technical functions of DVB-H as early as 2005. In cooperation with Swisscom Mobile, sunrise and Orange, the company subsequently developed special DVB-H-based radio and TV offerings. In the next three months some 200 select customers and employees will be testing these new services. Swisscom Broadcast and the mobile phone operators expect to gain many important insights into market appeal and customer requirements as regards mobile TV.
During the trial, the participants will have a Nokia N92 mobile phone at their disposal on which up to 17 TV channels and three to four radio channels can be received depending on the mobile operator. An electronic programme guide will help them make their choices.
In June this year, Italy became the first European country to make mobile TV commercially available via DVB-H. Trials are currently being carried out in many countries apart from Switzerland - in Europe these include Belgium, Germany, Spain, the UK and Poland.