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Telecommunication broadcasting convergence

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Table-2 Types of Video-on-Demand Service





True Video on Demand

This is the purest form of VOD, where each viewer receives an individual video stream that they have complete control over. Viewers are able to start, stop, pause, rewind, and fast-forward the content. Viewers typically pay a fee for each title viewed; the charges are either debited from a prepaid account or included on a monthly bill.


Digital Video Recorders


These devices take incoming video programming, compress it, and record it to a hard disk that is typically located either in an STB or a standalone device. Viewers then control the DVR to play back content, including pause, fast-forward, and rewind capabilities. Also called time-shifting, viewers normally program their DVRs to record specific programs at specific times.


Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD)

Same delivery technology and viewer control as VOD with a different payment system. In SVOD, subscribers pay a fixed monthly fee for unlimited access to a library of titles.

In many systems, the library is updated monthly.


Free Video on Demand (FVOD)

A variation on VOD where payment is eliminated. In most systems, this content is restricted to long-form advertisements, how-to guides, and other low-cost content.


Everything on Demand (EOD)

For some technology visionaries, this is the ultimate form of video delivery system, where all programming is available to all viewers at all times.


Near Video on Demand


Similar to true VOD without the individual video stream control capabilities. One common form of NVOD is sometimes called stagger casting, in which multiple copies of a program are played starting at five-minute intervals, thereby limiting any individual viewer to no more than a five-minute wait before his or her program begins to play.


Networked Digital Video Recorders (NDVRs)

Offers similar functionality to DVRs, but recording is performed inside the service provider’s network rather than in the viewer’s location. Some content owners contend that this technology is so similar in capability to true VOD that it needs to be licensed as such.


Pay-per-View (PPV)

This precursor technology to VOD is used primarily to deliver live paid programming, such as concerts or sporting events. It is technically not VOD since the viewer has no control over the playback.

  1. Implementation Cases of Telecommunication & Broadcasting Convergence Services

  1. Mobile TV Service

In the area of terrestrial broadcast mobile TV, also, there are three broad streams of technologies that have evolved[26]:

    • Mobile TV broadcasting using modified terrestrial broadcasting standards: DVB-T, which is widely being implemented for the digitalization of broadcast networks in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world, can be used with certain modifications such as DVB for handhelds or DVB-H. This is a major standard based on which many commercial networks have started offering services. ISDB-T used in Japan is a similar case.

    • Mobile TV broadcasting using modified Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) standards: The DAB standards provide a robust medium of terrestrial broadcasting of multimedia signals including data, audio, and music and have been used in many parts of the world. These standards have been modified as DMB standards. The advantage is that the technologies have been well tested and spectrum has been allocated by the ITU for DAB services. The Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcast (T-DMB) is such a broadcasting standard.

    • Terrestrial broadcasting using new technologies: In countries such as the United States, where ATSC is the digital TV transmission standard, there is no easy way for terrestrial broadcast mobile TV. Even the digital audio broadcasting services are in the 2.3 GHz band using proprietary technology or use standard FM band (IBOC) for digital radio services. Hence terrestrial transmission networks for mobile TV need to be developed from scratch. FLO is a new technology using CDMA as interface, which can be used for broadcasting and multicasting by adding capabilities to the CDMA networks.

An example of convergence implementation is FMBC (Fixed, Mobile and Broadcast Convergence) by KDDI Japan [14], where customers can enjoy various services and contents anywhere and anytime without concern for using different devices.

Figure-4 Mobile TV technologies

  1. DVB-H

Mobile TV using broadcast technologies is being operated in various countries using different bands for transmission and different technologies. For example, Modeo (formerly Crown Castle Media) has pioneered the DVB-H trials in the United States and has also launched a commercial service using 5-MHz capacity in the L-band. The trials were held in Pittsburgh, followed by the launch of the commercial service. It uses Windows Media technology as the basic technology for delivery of video and audio and its phones support the corresponding players. In contrast, DVB-H in Europe is offered using the UHF band and having the codecs as per DVB-H, i.e., H.264 and MPEG-4 visual simple profiles.

The American digital TV scene is dominated by the extensive use of the ATSC transmission system on which over 1200 stations are now active. The DVB-H standard, which relies on the basic DVB-T transport as a physical layer, can thus not be added onto the existing ATSC digital TV networks. However, the U.S. mobile TV offerings have been characterized by variations from some of the global standards for technologies such as DVB-H, for which the operator Modeo is adopting the Windows Media technology codecs instead of H.264 and Microsoft proprietary DRM as opposed to OMA DRM 2.0. At the same time, Qualcomm is offering its MediaFLO technology to CDMA operators. This implies that the market will have a mix of technologies in the foreseeable future. The DVB-H services of Modeo in the 1600 to 1675-MHz band will compete with the CDMA operators’ offerings of FLO technology (700MHz band) as well as the 3G networks (with HSDPA and 1xEV-DO).

The ETSI has adopted the DVB-H standard for Europe, which has also adopted the DVB-T standard for digital television, making the potential launch of services straightforward. Commercial DVB-H service has been launched by Italia and a number of trials have been concluded. Many of these commercial trials are now being developed as full-fledged DVB-H service. After the Broadcast Mobile Convergence (Bmco) trial in Germany, four telecom operators (T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2, and E-Plus) launched a DVB-H trial in June 2006 coinciding with the FIFA 2006, which would be developed into a full-fledged launch. Digita in Finland is also launching DVB-H service.

Italy has the distinction of having launched the world’s first commercial DVB-H network on the June 5, 2006. The service was launched using a new DVB-H network created by the company across Italy in the UHF band with coverage of 75% of the population (2000 towns and cities). The service was branded as Walk-TV. The initial launch comprised 9 channels, which are slated to grow to 40 by 2008. At the time of the launch the mobile TV service was offered at 3 euros per day or 29 euros per month. Alternatively packaged voice call (1 hour per day) and mobile TV were offered at 49 euros per month. The initial channels included RAI1, Canale 5, and Sky TG24. Italia is producing La3 Live, a channel specifically designed for mobile TV.

The Netherlands is one of the few European countries where analog TV transmissions were phased out by the end of 2006. DVB-T based terrestrial transmissions are being sent by KPN even though it is primarily a Telecom operator.

The major operators offering 3G services in The Netherlands are Vodafone, Orange, KPN, and T-Mobile. KPN introduced video telephony in October 2004 using its 3G UMTS network and Sony’s Z1010 phone. Mobile TV (i-mode) service is being offered by KPN using its 3G network. DVH-H trials were also carried out by KPN (along with Nokia, Nozema Services (a broadcasting company), and Digitenne as partners).

The broadcast-based mobile TV scene in the United Kingdom has been partly influenced by the availability of spectrum. Owing to the digitalization of the terrestrial broadcast network spectrum has not been available for the DVB-H services in the United Kingdom so far.

In India the digital terrestrial broadcasting service has not yet been opened up for private operators and the state-owned Doordarshan remains the sole terrestrial operator. All terrestrial transmissions are analog, with a few exceptions in the metro areas where DVB-T transmissions have commenced as free-to-air transmissions. Trials have been conducted for DVB-H services using the DVB-T platform in New Delhi and proved successful.

  1. T-DMB

T-DMB service was launched in Korea as a result of six operators being licensed by the government, each with approximately 1.54MHz of bandwidth. This enables 1.15 Mbps per carrier and can carry VCD quality (352x288 pixels) video at 30 fps (for the NTSC standard). The video is coded using the H.264 compression protocol. It also carries CD-quality audio (DAB MUSICAM). The terrestrial DMB standards also have provision for carriage of interactive data or presentations. More than seven broadcasters in Korea are taking part in this service, with sharing of transmitters and providing free-to-air services. AT-DMB is the extended system of guaranteeing backward compatibility with T-DMB, which increases channel capacity of T-DMB by applying hierarchical modulation mechanism. Basic parameters of AT-DMB such as channel bandwidth, number of carriers, symbol duration, guard interval duration, etc., are the same as those of T-DMB.

Commercial services using the DMB-T technology have been launched in Europe as well. Mobile operator Debitel has launched T-DMB services in Germany (Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt) in cooperation with the broadcaster MFD. This service is expected to be expanded rapidly.

  1. ISDB-T

Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting, developed by Japan in 2006 as its digital terrestrial television standard, provides some modes that are suitable for broadcasting for handheld reception. Mobile TV service using ISDB-T in Japan uses 1 segment of the 13 in a 5.6-MHz channel. As part of its original digital television strategy, the government has allocated 1/13 of the digital television transmission network for mobile broadcasting to portable and handheld devices. The ISDB-T standard provides audio, video, and multimedia services for the terrestrial television network including mobile reception and HDTV. The bandwidth size in ISDB-T (one segment) is 433 kHz.

  1. DAB-IP

The DAB standard has seen another extension for providing mobile services through the DAB-IP standard. The DAB-IP standard is based on the use of an IP layer that carries all the data streams of audio, video, and IP. The content is delivered by IP multicast. The standard has flexibility in the use of the types of audio and video codec. For instance, these can be H.264 or Windows Media 9 for vide and AAC+ or BSAC.

Using this standard it is possible to provide mobile TV service with 1.5MHz spectrum slots available for DAB. Virgin Mobile of the United Kingdom is the first mobile operator to sign up with BT Movio to offer services based on the DAB-IP standard. DAB-IP is important owing to the spectrum-related issues that are preventing the rollout of services based on DVB-H.

  1. IPTV Service

The number of global IPTV subscribers was expected to grow from 28 million in 2009 to 83 million in 2013. Europe and Asia are the leading territories in terms of the over-all number of subscribers. But in terms of service revenues, Europe and North America generate a larger share of global revenue, due to very low average revenue per user (ARPU) in China and India, the fastest growing (and ultimately, the biggest markets) is Asia. The global IPTV market revenues are forecast to grow from US$12 billion in 2009 to US$38 billion in 2013. While all major western countries and most developed economies have IPTV deployments, the world's leading markets for IPTV were Germany (by Deutsche Telekom), France (led by Free, then Orange, then Neuf Cegetel (now SFR); total of over 4 million subscriptions), South Korea (5 million subscriptions as of May 2012), United States (by AT&T), Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Switzerland and Portugal (with meo, Optimus Clix and Vodafone Casa).

Services also launched in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Pakistan, Canada, Croatia, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Mongolia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Georgia, Greece, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Lithuania, Turkey, Colombia and Chile. The United Kingdom launched IPTV early and after a slow initial growth, in February 2009 BT announced that it had reached 398,000 subscribers to its BT Vision service. Claro has launched his own IPTV service called "Claro TV". This service is available in several countries in which they operate, such as Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua. IPTV is just beginning to grow in Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America, and now it is growing in South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan and especially India, but significant plans exist in countries such as Russia. Kazakhstan introduced its own IPTV services by the national provider Kazakhtelecom JSC and content integrator Alacast under the "iD TV" brand in two major cities Astana and Almaty in 2009 and is about to go nationwide starting 2010. Australian ISP iiNet launched Australia's first IPTV with fetchtv.

The first IPTV service to launch on the Chinese mainland sells under the "BesTV" brand and is currently available in the cities of Shanghai and Harbin. In India, IPTV was launched by Airtel and the government service provider MTNL and BSNL and is available in most of the major cities of the country. Meanwhile, UF Group which is the franchise owner for UFO movies in Southern India plans to offer multiple hosts of services such as customer's movies on demand, shopping online, video conferencing, media player, e-learning on their single IPTV set top box branded as Emagine. In Pakistan, IPTV was launched by PTCL, under brand name Smart TV, which is available in most of the major cities of Pakistan.

In Malaysia, a few operators have been granted licences to provide IPTV service. Some of the licensees have rolled out and have offered commercial IPTV service where else the others have yet to embark on the roll out of IPTV service. Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as the regulatory body is closely monitoring the progress on the rollout of the IPTV service of each license.

In Turkey, TTNET launched IPTV service under the name IPtivibu in 2010. It was available in pilot areas in the cities of Istanbul, İzmir and Ankara. As of 2011, IPTV service is launched as a large-scale commercial service and widely available across the country under the trademark "Tivibu EV". Superonline plans to provide IPTV under the different name "WebTV" in 2011. Türk Telekom started building the fiber optic substructure for IPTV in late 2007.

Another example of implementation was addressed[12], where Korea Telecom (KT) by 2010 already launched a more "open" version of its IPTV service 'Qook TV' which adds that it plans to provide a platform for content developers to create and market their products over its broadcast network. KT hopes that establishing a stronger developer network for television content available on the service will help it to cement its IPTV leadership and create new revenue models. Therefore KT will be focus on openness for the project, allowing any company or content developer to sell their programmes on Qook TV. Korea had more than 2.2 million subscribers for its IPTV service by the 2010.2Q, which the first 1M achieved in 9 months, and the second 1 million achieved in 6 months.

  1. Internet TV Service

Internet television (otherwise known as Internet TV, or Online TV) is the digital distribution of television content via the Internet. It should not be confused with Web television - short programs or videos created by a wide variety of companies and individuals, or Internet protocol television (IPTV) - an emerging internet technology standard for use by television broadcasters. Some Internet television is known as catch-up TV. Internet Television is a general term that covers the delivery of television shows and other video content over the internet by video streaming technology, typically by major traditional television broadcasters. It does not describe a technology used to deliver content (see Internet protocol television). Internet television has become very popular through services such as RTÉ Player in Ireland; BBC iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Player (also STV Player and UTV Player) and Demand Five in the United Kingdom; Hulu in the United States; Nederland 24 in the Netherlands; ABC iview and Australia Live TV in Australia; Tivibu in Turkey.

  1. Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV)

HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) is a new industry standard providing an open and business neutral technology platform that seamlessly combines TV services delivered via broadcast with services delivered via broadband and also enables access to Internet only services for consumers using connected TVs and set-top boxes.

The founding members of the HbbTV consortium together with a large group of supporters jointly developed the HbbTV specification to create a global standard for hybrid entertainment services. Version 1.1.1 of this specification had been approved by ETSI as ETSI TS 102 796 in June 2010. Latest release of HbbTV specification was version 1.5 on 4 April 2012.
Some defined services of HbbTV are Electronic Program Guide with program preview and access to catch-up TV, start screen with interactive service elements, Individual news application, visual radio application, catch up TV service, variant of a videotext application with embedded graphics and video, and advanced teletext service.

Some European countries already launch these services as pilot projects. Latest launch is done by Danish national broadcaster “DR”. It launched a pilot project of convergence services based on HbbTV with Danish company Nordija on March 2012.

Figure-5 HbbTV illustration (

  1. Roadmap of Telecommunication & Broadcasting Convergence Services

In building the roadmap for convergence services between telecommunication and broadcasting, we can consider some trends from service perspective [21] [22] [25] i.e.:

  1. Everything on Demand - this is a trend which transforms the broadcasting TV service as a when-you-want-it experience service. All TV content will be made on demand and there should also have general business model as paid services or free with advertisement services. Demographically targeted advertising is also the future. Custom advertising will exercise by its sights on fragmenting age, culture, economic, and geographic subgroups and on viewing constituencies.

  1. Mobile IPTV - this trend was driven by the rise of smart mobile devices and their broadband capability. Mobile IPTV is a technology that enables users to transmit and receive multimedia traffic including television signal, video, audio, text and graphic services through IP-based the wired and wireless networks with support for Quality of Service/QoE, security, mobility, and interactive functions. Through Mobile IPTV, users can enjoy IPTV services anywhere and even while on the move.

  1. Interactive and Personalized TV - the convergence of digital TV has made it possible to incorporate feedback into the traditionally one-way form of TV communication by combining video, audio, and data within the same signal, epitomizing the TV world. In a nutshell, interactive TV brings a range of new multimedia services that enables users to browse information on topics of interest, play interactive games, conduct e-commerce related activities Personalized Television would become a very common trend in the near future. Personalization would spread beyond interactive Television features and services to include TV programs too. Television has been designed to accommodate single user interaction and selection of services. However in most households several users actually interact with their TV sets and set-top boxes and each one of them has a different set of preferences in terms of programs and services.

  1. Television Commerce (T-Commerce) - the T-commerce can be explained as an abbreviation of “Television Commerce,” or “E-commerce on TV.” As it can be known from the term, it means TV-based commerce, and especially online commerce occurring on digital TVs basically equipped with a two-way communication function. T-commerce is defined as terminal system incorporating the Internet, TVs, and input devices such as remote controllers, wireless keyboard and mouse, and so on, which make services and products easy to use at home. Because it is utilized by a familiar device, a remote controller, even groups who are not familiar with the Internet or computers can easily participate in commerce process. Unlike home-shopping, it can build VOD databases, and employ a way for consumers to search and to order a product, thus have an ability to indefinitely expand the number of sales items. Also, a search function is able to absorb users who have a reasoned purchase tendency without impulse buying. In the IPTV, the success of T-commerce is strategically critical. The reasons is that revenue creation by usage fees will have limitations because, by far, contents clearly differentiated from existing broadcasting are deficient, and due to the pre-IPTV strategy of operators, a stereotype free of charge service is widely spread.

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