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Qualcomm brings 'channel surfing' on mobile phones closer to reality
Posted: 12-Oct-2004 [Source: Qualcomm]

[Qualcomm announces two new technology innovations making delivery of multimedia applications including real-time, high-quality video on mobile handsets more cost effective.]

Qualcomm today announced two innovations -- 1xEV-DO Platinum Multicast, an evolution of CDMA2000 1xEV-DO; and FLO(TM) (Forward Link Only) technology, which is complementary to CDMA2000 and WCDMA networks. EV-DO Platinum Multicast and FLO technology are both multicast innovations designed to increase the capacity and reduce the cost of delivering video, audio and other content to large numbers of users simultaneously.

EV-DO Platinum Multicast is a backwards-compatible evolution of 1xEV-DO. The existing EV-DO forward link design uses CDMA to transmit data packets to a single user (unicast), or simultaneously to multiple users (multicast), during different time slots (called time division multiplexing, or TDM).

Each packet is provided the full forward link power from one cell sector during its time slot. EV-DO Platinum Multicast further improves performance by reserving the same TDM time slot at all cells in a region and then transmitting one or more common packets within the reserved slot to all users in the region. Mobile devices receive the same packet from multiple cells and then soft combine the energy to improve reception. To simplify the soft combination of the common packets transmitted simultaneously from all cell sectors in multicast mode, an orthogonal frequency division multiplex (OFDM) waveform is used for transmission during the common TDM time slot.

The FLO multicast technology under development at Qualcomm is designed for markets where dedicated spectrum is available and where regulations permit high-power transmission from one or a small number of towers. As in Platinum Multicast, FLO transmits packets using OFDM. It is complementary to existing cellular networks because interactive services are supported within the mobile device using the CDMA2000 1X, 1xEV-DO or WCDMA cellular link. FLO is intended as an alternative to other multimedia multicasting technologies, such as DVB-H. Compared to other multicast technologies, FLO technology is designed specifically for use in mobile devices where low battery power consumption is critical, enabling it to offer superior mobility, power efficiency and coverage characteristics -- considerations that are fundamental to the mobile handheld consumer usage environment.

In addition, Qualcomm's MediaFLO(tm) Content Distribution System, announced in March 2004, is designed to make intelligent decisions about when to send content over a network made up of any number of different wireless technologies, including FLO and EV-DO Platinum Multicast. In particular, the MediaFLO system allows operators to transmit unicast or multicast content over their cellular networks and seamlessly combine it with multicast content transmitted using the FLO technology. The MediaFLO system assures appropriate alignment between the network utilization profile and subscriber requirements and usage patterns. For subscribers, multicast services based on advances like the FLO technology and EV-DO Platinum Multicast will easily deliver high- quality video services at appropriate consumer price points, so consumers can have a positive experience with full motion video at much higher frame rates.

"Wireless multimedia services are gaining traction in leading markets but, as consumer demand increases, the cost becomes prohibitive to deliver the same multimedia content individually to each user in a large subscriber base," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, executive vice president and president of Qualcomm Wireless and Internet Group. "EV-DO Platinum and the FLO technology innovations will augment existing unicast networks to much more cost effectively enable the most desirable multimedia applications -- including real-time, high-quality video. The MediaFLO system wraps these new technologies into a complete end-to-end system that allows consumers to interact with wireless multimedia in a way they're accustomed to -- enabling 'channel surfing' on their mobile handsets."

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