CBC/Radio-Canada, in cooperation with multiple partners, recently concluded a successful mobile broadcast multimedia field trial using "T-DMB" technology in the Greater Montreal area. These trials could eventually lead to live digital TV and digital radio broadcasts on cellular phones.
In collaboration with its partners, CBC/Radio-Canada carried out a limited field trial, broadcasting two live TV services and multiple live radio services, within its existing digital radio broadcasting (DRB) channel, in the 1452–1492 MHz frequency band ("L-Band"), using the T-DMB system (Terrestrial – Digital Multimedia Broadcasting). The trial benefited from equipment and support from Communications Research Centre (CRC), ETRI, Factum Electronics, Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute (HHI), iRiver, KRTNet, LG, MIC, OnTimeTek, Radioscape, SBRF, and Rogers Wireless.
"For Canada’s national public broadcaster, these mobile broadcast platforms are an opportunity to bring enhanced high-quality content to audiences wherever, whenever and however they want it," said Raymond Carnovale, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, CBC Technology.
CBC/Radio-Canada is interested in working with technology partners, service providers and others to ensure Canadians benefit fully from these new technologies. T-DMB is one of the technologies that permits the delivery of multimedia content to mobile and handheld devices for multiple simultaneous users using a hybrid broadcast/cellular network. It is a good example of how CBC/Radio-Canada will make more efficient use of its digital radio transmitter network, frequencies and licences in the future.
Many industry analysts believe that live multimedia represents the next growth area in mobile convergence. There are a number of systems for delivery of multimedia content to mobile users in development and CBC/Radio-Canada is carefully monitoring trials in this area, including T-DMB.
T-DMB, which is based on an extension of the "DAB" digital radio system, allows delivery of television as well as radio. Now commercially available in South Korea and Germany, T-DMB has proven to be a very efficient means of broadcasting live TV, multimedia and digital radio content to mobile users. It can significantly reduce the network congestion issues associated with some existing mobile TV services which use conventional cellular networks, and it allows an unlimited number of users at any one time to access live digital TV and digital radio via mobile and handheld devices.
The broadcasting infrastructure and frequencies for "DAB" digital radio are already in place in many countries. It is robust and reliable, and can be easily extended to deliver multimedia and video in a spectrum-efficient way. There is also the synergy of being able to deliver digital radio programs to the same receivers, which appears to be popular with users.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. With 29 services offered on Radio, Television, the Internet, satellite radio, digital audio, as well as through its record and music distribution service and wireless WAP and SMS messaging services, CBC/Radio-Canada is available how, where, and when Canadians want it.
Through this array of activities, CBC/Radio-Canada brings diverse regional and cultural perspectives into the daily lives of Canadians in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, in nine languages on its international Radio service, Radio Canada International, and in eight languages on its Web-based Radio service RCI viva, a service for recent and aspiring immigrants to Canada.