The GSMA endorsed a new 3GPP standard called Integrated Mobile Broadcast, saying the standard will allow operators to accelerate the adoption of mobile data and broadcast services.
GSMA said IMB is a technology that enables spectrally efficient delivery of broadcast services, based on techniques that are aligned with existing FDD WCDMA but also allowing deployment in TDD spectrum. This allows for the smooth handover between IMB delivery and existing deployed technology, GSMA explained. Operators can use IMB within segments of spectrum already allocated with many 3G licenses, but which have remained unused due to a lack of appropriate technology.
The move is a coup for IPWireless as the IMB standard, accepted as part of 3GPP Release 8, is a result of the harmonization of 3GPP Release 7 MBMS solutions from IPWireless and Ericsson. Potential applications of mobile broadcast are far greater than just mobile TV--which was the initial push of this type of technology. Potential applications include video and audio multimedia delivery as well as application data, said an IPWireless spokeswoman. From the operator community, Orange, Softbank and Telstra have also expressed support for the standard.
IPWireless sees the IMB standard as a way to ease the capacity crunch mobile operators are beginning to experience on their 3G networks as it utilizes unpaired TDD spectrum owned by the majority of 3G operators, but is currently sitting unused. IPWireless has been developing and manufacturing the technologies that enable IMB, including chipsets and software platforms as its Release 7 TDtv technology was the predecessor to IMB.
The GSMA said that since IMB meets the necessary regulatory and spectral requirements to be deployed in this spectrum, operators can now use this valuable but previously untapped asset. IMB also reuses many aspects of existing, deployed technologies such as UMTS and Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS), meaning a short development cycle for inclusion on products resulting in a faster time to market for mobile broadcast services such as mobile TV.
- see this GSMA release
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