Tech Firms Team Up for DVB-H in U.S.

Five companies announced plans Monday to accelerate the development and deployment of DVB-H, a technology that allows digital television broadcasts on mobile devices. The companies involved include Intel, Modeo, Motorola, Nokia and Texas Instruments, which will form the Mobile DTV Alliance.

The group says it would focus on promoting best practices and standards once the technology becomes more readily available. In the near future, it will work on ensuring that consumers both know of the new technology and have access to it.

"Consumers are demanding more content, such as live TV, from their mobile devices, and open procedure standards are key to delivering that content in a cost-effective way," Intel Mobility Group Director of Business Development Kevin Jones said in a statement.

Deployment and trials are expected to begin within the next 12 to 18 months. Analysts say that deals to promote the technology among key technology companies are vital to the service's overall success.

At least ten trials of DVB-H are either underway or completed worldwide, including some small scale tests within the United States. The group said it expected most major U.S. markets to have the technology available by 2007.

The commitment to a standard would also help devices reach the market faster. Carriers would benefit as DVB-H could add a new revenue stream while freeing up the cellular network for other voice and data services.

"The Mobile DTV Alliance provides an open ecosystem for the mobile digital TV marketplace, greatly increasing revenue opportunities, innovation and services to consumers," Texas Instruments' Yoram Solomon said.

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