ICO plans mobile video trials in mid 2008

Satellite company ICO Global Communications announced plans to deploy a GEO satellite on April 14 that will deliver a satellite-hybrid terrestrial network using mobile TV technology DVB-SH.

After the satellite is launched, the company plans to begin market trials in Las Vegas and Raleigh-Durham in mid-2008 of what it calls ICO MIM, Mobile Interactive Media. The trials will focus on three areas: entertainment using DVB-SH for mobile TV services, guidance services that will include real-time traffic data and social networking applications and assistance services, which will offer Onstar-like roadside services.

Initially, the service will initially consist of a “set-top box in the trunk” to deliver these services, said Tim Bryan, CEO of ICO during an Alcatel-Lucent press briefing here at CTIA. Later, the company plans to offer dockable portable mobile and OEM-installe devices. Direct delivery to handhelds is possible in the future.

Partners in the trial include Alcatel-Lucent, which is providing the DVB-SH technology, Hughes and WiMAX operator Clearwire, which is a wireless broadband offering to the mix. Last fall, Clearwire announced a joint agreement with ICO. Craig McCaw, who founded Clearwire, owns a 75-percent voting interest in ICO.

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