Feeds

Ofcom wants mobile TV spectrum pulled

TV without frontiers - or radio frequencies

High performance access to file storage

Aspiring mobile TV provider ICO Global Communications has reacted angrily to the UK regulator's decision to pull its spectrum, leaving it without the frequencies it needs to keep talking.

ICO is a Cayman-Island-based company with aspirations of running a constellation of ten satellites for mobile satellite TV services. The first bird went up in 2001, and in 2004 Ofcom agreed to ask the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to reserve some 2GHZ spectrum for ICO, but since then no satellites have been launched and no service has been forthcoming, prompting Ofcom to ask the ITU to release the spectrum.

The move will delight Solaris, Inmarsat Ventures and TerreStar Europe, who are all competing for the 2GHz-mobile-satellite-TV beauty contest that the EU is planning. That contest should establish who gets to offer DVB-SH to EU residents who not only want to be able to watch digital TV on the move, but want to able to do so far away from fixed infrastructure.

Which goes some way to explaining ICO's anger at the move. In a statement sent to El Reg, the company points out that the bird they launched in 2001 is operating fine, and that it has "spent more than a decade and billions of dollars constructing an international satellite system" before attributing the delays to being embroiled in "a significant legal action against the Boeing companies regarding the fraudulent activity, breach of contract and tortuous interference" in which it recently prevailed.

Ofcom's plans to write to the ITU on March 17, but the ICO statement makes it clear the company is prepared to lobby the ITU against the decision, and resort to litigation if necessary.

DVB-SH broadcasts digital television to mobile terminals including phones direct from satellites, but also uses local relays in urban areas - these receive the satellite broadcast and retransmit at a lower frequency providing in-building coverage as well as amongst tower blocks where line-of-sight is hard to obtain. Broadcasters therefore need birds in the air, and ground stations too, as well as expensive low-frequency spectrum for retransmitting.

The technology recently had the opportunity to prove itself during trials in Turin, which were hailed a success by the companies taking part and mean that we now have the technology to deliver the service, which, unfortunately, no one seems to want or be able to afford. Just because we can bounce Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive off the sky, and catch it on a mobile phone even when wandering the hinterlands of Europe, there's really no reason why we should feel compelled to do so. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.