02 Oct 2010

Flo Forum - Technology Trends

Kamil Grajski, FLO Forum President, looks at the major trends and developments currently shaping the mobile media industry.

Dramatic changes are taking place in the consumer entertainment market as people embrace new media experiences with staggering speed. The proliferation of smartphones has fuelled this further as research from US-based analyst comScore has found that smartphone sales in Europe's five largest markets grew 32 percent in 2009, and by an astounding 70 percent in the UK.

According to the latest Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2010-2014, from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), advances in technology and products will see increasingly converged, multi-functional and interoperable mobile devices come of age as a consumption platform by the end of 2011.

Consumers are increasingly demanding content "ubiquity" as media is accessed across different devices to support ever-greater interactivity and convenience.

Mobile devices continue to be used in new ways, as more mobile applications are being downloaded than ever before to support the mobile lifestyle. According to Ovum's latest report , America still dominates the smartphone mobile application download market. However, the growing penetration of smartphones coupled with the increased availability of applications with local relevance has resulted in the Asia-Pacific region seeing the most recent growth. The ability to consume and interact with content anywhere, anytime-and to share and discuss that content experience in social networks-will become an increasingly integral part of people's lives around the world.

Choosing the right technology

As consumers demand more and more entertainment on the go, operators must find ways to satisfy them. The challenge for operators lies in finding the right technology to seamlessly deliver content to customers because the delivery of such large volumes of data places a huge amount of strain on networks. As a result, operators are starting to look at broadcast to handle some of the data traffic.

MF Tablet

Broadcast mobile technologies are uniquely positioned to deliver rich content without burdening the network. As a dedicated mobile broadcast technology, MediaFLO technology is recognized as a reliable means to increase capacity and coverage while reducing costs for multimedia content delivery to unlimited mobile devices simultaneously.

Note on FLO technology:

FLO technology is an air interface with multicasting capabilities designed to increase capacity and reduce content delivery costs to mobile handsets. The technology enables mobile users to see and hear high quality video and audio, receive real-time news and sports feeds and engage in social networking - wherever they are, anytime, and without delays. MediaFLO technology was designed from the ground up to ensure maximum spectral efficiency for mobility reception (outdoor and indoor), offering better power efficiency, capacity and coverage characteristics than other technologies, making it an ideal solution for delivering a rich mobile broadcast experience.

Furthermore, broadcast mobile media platforms enable a compelling user experience. Using a mobile broadcast platform, operators can offer customers access to a full range of relevant content, be it live twitter feeds, video clips or data-intensive multimedia files such as digital magazines.

As the mobile device is used for more and more services, optimizing battery consumption is also imperative to ensure the user is not left with insufficient power to use their handset or tablet. By accessing a small fraction of the total signal transmitted without compromising either frequency or time diversity, FLO-enabled devices are able to achieve comparable battery life to other mobile devices leaving limited room for interruption, and thus creating a compelling user experience.

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About the author

Dr. Kamil A. Grajski is President, FLO Forum & Vice President, Engineering, QUALCOMM. He earned his doctorate in Biophysics at UC Berkeley and his BA in computer science at New York University, and has previously held positions as VP, Engineering and VP & General Manager of the QUALCOMM SnapTrack division which focused on the global commercialization of Assisted-GPS technology and services, including Wireless E-911, resulting in over 150 million AGPS-enabled chips shipped worldwide to date.

The FLO Forum is a global organization made up of companies from every part of the mobile broadcasting value chain. It is dedicated to the development and promotion of MediaFLO technology as an open standard for broadcast mobile multimedia. The group works collaboratively to generate technical specifications for submission to global standards and regulatory bodies.

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