The launch of portable hand-held TV systems in Australia capable of delivering HD content is set to be a major new media category for telecommunication carriers; however, the launch of the new technology will depend on the allocation of new spectrum in Australia, claim industry experts.
The portable TV technology that is set to find its way into smartphones and separate hand held TVs could be powered by new Media Flo technology from Qualcomm, who also makes processors for mobile phones.
Currently the Federal Department of Broadband and Communications is assessing the Qualcomm technology for use in Australia.
Last week Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs & Communications chose Qualcomm’s MediaFLO technology as one of two official technologies for Japan’s nationwide mobile multimedia service, which is set to be rolled out in 2011 when spectrum is made available.
Advances in wireless and battery technology and the development of new content services for mobile TV devices will help vendors tap into new technology and markets, says Neville Meijers, senior vice president and general manager of FLO International.
Already Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are talking to Qualcomm about the new technology that analysts claim will open up new mobile infotainment platforms for carriers and vendors selling devices incorporating the new Media Flo technology.
This mobile media platform, according to Qualcomm, is expected to be the next revenue driver for the telecommunications industry in Australia.
“Working closely with various companies around the world, we have taken a significant step toward expanding the diversity of broadcast-quality mobile content and value-added mobile services available consumers,” said Meijers.
He said that the MediaFLO platform offers a rich user experience, high channel capacity and an open services layer to support a wide range of mobile broadcast services, making it an ideal platform to complement 3G services.
Trials of the new service in Japan are being watched by Australian authorities who believe that the new service could become a reality late in 2011 or 2013 following extensive trials in Australia.
Last year, the MIC in Japan approved two MediaFLO mobile TV trials in the VHF and UHF spectrum bands.
Both trials demonstrated the technical and business advantages the MediaFLO platform is capable of providing, clearing the way for commercial deployment.
In Australia the Media Flo technology could also make it into vehicles. In Japan, Toyota recently tested the reception of MediaFLO signals in vehicles with TV entertainment, news and mapping information fed to the vehicle.