S-band mobile TV deal generates buzz

07 Nov 2006

(Satellite News via NewsEdge) News of Eutelsat and SES Global's decision to jointly develop a new mobile broadcasting system for Europe is good news for other players such as Alcatel, which is hoping to be a key technology vendor in the mobile-TV space.

SES and Eutelsat unveiled plans Oct. 30 to invest 130 million euros ($165.3 million) to develop a mobile broadcasting satellite service for Europe.

The joint venture will develop and operate a commercial S-band payload that will allow the first delivery of mobile multimedia broadcast services directly to mobile devices.

"Satellite services using S-band frequencies can make a vital contribution to the overall success of the mobile broadcasting market while the design of the S-band payload is also fully suited for two-way communications," Giuliano Berretta, chairman and CEO of Eutelsat, said in a statement.

"By adding this new payload to a platform using our traditional set of Ku-band and C-band frequencies it has also been possible to put in place an efficient and cost-effective solution for entering a new frequency band," he added.

The S-band payload will be placed on the W2A satellite, being built by Alcatel Alenia Space. W2A, which Eutelsat ordered in September, is scheduled for launch in 2009.

"The combination of the commercial trends and credibility of both SES Global and Eutelsat is a key success factor for mobile TV in S-band," Olivier Coste, president of Alcatel Mobile Broadcast Activities, said. "They both have excellent relationships with pay-TV operators and broadcasters in many countries. The fact they are now committed to develop a mobile TV S-band solution over Europe, with a satellite, which will cover all of the main European territories, is of great support for the development of the mobile TV project in S-band."

Alcatel has been investing heavily in the development of an S-band solution.

"What we are doing is developing the elements relevant to Alcatel," Coste said. "So you have the satellite, the terrestrial network, a terrestrial solution to be deployed over the 3G networks of the operators and the overall system architecture, and we propose to be the system integrator of the solution. Beyond that, we are also developing partnerships with chipset manufacturers and terminal vendors in order to have an end-to-end solution available for our customers."

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