TIA forms Terrestrial Mobile Multimedia Multicast committee

July 21, 2005 - Group will address the standardization of critical aspects of the technologies driving the convergence of terrestrial broadcast and advanced mobile wireless multimedia services.

The Telecommunications Industry Association has announced the formation of a new engineering committee, Terrestrial Mobile Multimedia Multicast (TM3), to address the standardization of critical aspects of the technologies driving the convergence of terrestrial broadcast and advanced mobile wireless multimedia services.

The Technical Committee of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the body which oversees the technical standardization program at TIA, approved the decision to create the new engineering committee at its meeting held on July 13.

The proposed scope for the new committee is the development and maintenance of terrestrial mobile multimedia multicast interface, component, sub-system, system, network and protocol standards. While the scope of the engineering committee may include protocol and architectural aspects, it is expected to primarily focus on standards for radio interfaces, testing methodologies, performance and reliability standards and equipment design guides.

"Consumers, businesses and government users want to enjoy all the new and innovative services broadband can deliver," says TIA President Matthew Flanigan. "In our industry we call that Triple Play -- data, voice and video. This new group will standardize radio interface and related technologies that can make wireless Triple Play a reality in the United States.

"TIA has always provided a forum for the standardization of new, innovative technologies and products that serve the information and communications technology marketplace," Flanigan continues. "This new group will help to ensure that the standards process keeps pace with the accelerating advances in our industry that promise to transform the way we access mobile wireless multimedia multicast services."

TM3 technology allows the one-way delivery of multimedia content simultaneously to a large number of users (millions to tens of millions) of mobile subscriber devices and includes streaming audio and video, real-time data feeds, as well as non-real time multimedia. These standards are intended to be utilized by users and suppliers to promote compatible and interoperable systems to support multicast audio, video, and data requirements for a wide range of commercial and public services.

"TM3 services and technologies are synergistic with, but distinct from third-generation (3G) cellular communications air interfaces, protocols and infrastructure technologies," says Dan Bart, TIA senior vice president, standards and special projects. "The proposal to create the committee cited a number of reasons supporting the need to standardize this newly emerging technology for both the North American and global marketplace. Terrestrial mobile multimedia multicast technologies are being developed and deployed by different regions around the world and the United States has not yet begun standardization."

The wireless data market is expected to grow at a faster rate as the number of data-equipped terminals increases, according to the TIA's 2005 Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast. A key driver of this growth will be the demand for applications such as mobile video, as consumers are now beginning to use their phones to download music and to stream video. TIA projects that by 2008, wireless data revenue will comprise about 15% of total wireless revenue in North America. According to the proposal given at the Technical Committee meeting, strategy analytics predicts that the U.S. market demand for mobile video is expected to be an important segment within the wireless data market by 2009 with revenue projected to be $38 billion per year.

The first meeting of the group, tentatively numbered TR-47, is planned for September or October of this year. Eric Schimmel, a retired TIA vice president, and an individual well known in the wireless industry domestically and internationally, was appointed as the facilitator for the inaugural meetings.

Leadership will be elected at subsequent meetings of the new group in accordance with TIA's American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited procedures. The Technical Committee chairman also requested the chairman of the TIA Wireless Communications Division and TIA's External Affairs department staff, to investigate any spectrum-related or policy issues related to TM3, which are outside the scope of the TIA Technical Committee.

The TIA is based in Arlington, VA. For more information visit www.tiaonline.org.


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