The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has adopted DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast - Handheld) as the standard in Europe for mobile TV services.
DVB-H is a new technology that enables the simultaneous transmission of multiple television, radio and video channels to mobile handheld devices. It combines traditional broadcasting standards with specific features for handheld devices. To receive DVB-H transmissions, handsets require an additional integrated receiver. Nokia plans to bring a commercial mobile TV handset with integrated DVB-H to market globally in 2006.
Mobile TV presents a number of unique challenges, such as battery-powered receivers and a variety of situations of use (e.g. indoor, outdoor, pedestrian, inside moving vehicle). DVB-H provides the most efficient way of carrying multimedia services over digital terrestrial broadcasting networks to handheld terminals.
To overcome these challenges, DVB-H uses a variety of techniques including time-slicing to reduce a device's average power consumption, cell identifiers to support quicker signal scan and frequency handover as well as methods to improve signal strength in the mobile environment. The technical specification work has been done in the Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB), which is an industry-led consortium committed to designing global standards for the global delivery of digital television and data services.
DVB-H technology is being piloted in the United States by Crown Castle and Nokia. The pilot has started in October in the Pittsburgh, PA, area and it aims to prove and test the feasibility of DVB-H technology and related service systems in the United States.
ETSI is responsible for the standardization of information and communication technologies within Europe. It is made up of manufacturers, network operators, administrators, service providers, research bodies and users. Their acceptance of DVB-H as the standard for mobile TV paves the way for people to receive television-like content through a mobile phone.