Sohu IT, 11/20/07
In addition to the withdrawal of the CMMB standard, several industry insiders participating in the formation of the national standard for mobile TV have confirmed that Huawei's CMB solution is not taking part in the standards setting process either. This leaves only four remaining candidates: Nufront's T-MMB, Tsinghua University's DMB-TH, i-Vision's IMMB solution, and the China Association for Standardization's CDMB.
Sources from the CMMB camp claim that the rollout of CMMB trial networks has already begun in the capital cities of all provinces. This had led to concerns among the industry that official status as the national mobile TV standard conferred by the Standardization Administration of China may become meaningless.
i-Vision however has stated that its IMMB solution is an applications-level solution for handling service management and interactivity for mobile TV, and is able to solve the applications interoperability needs of different mobile TV standards.
Marbridge editorial note: Huawei's CMB solution is a mobile network rather than broadcast network technology. As such, it is not really relevant to a discussion of the national standard for broadcast-based mobile TV.
LENS: In a telephone interview with Marbridge, Ms. Zhao Hongbo from iVision's marketing department explained that although iVision submitted its proprietary IMMB (IP-based Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting) standard to the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) in early 2007, IMMB is not a technology which competes with, but rather one that supplements, the standards contending for selection as the national mobile TV transmission standard.
IMMB functions more as a solution on the applications level, enabling network operators, broadcasters and advertisers to deliver interactive and personalized content to users of various broadcast-receiving terminals, including mobile phones, personal computers and set-top boxes. For example, the solution allows SMS/WAP advertisements to be pushed to users while they are watching TV on handset, laptop, or other mobile device, and also allows users to respond to the ads interactively, or participate in TV program voting via wireless or internet channels. It's currently compatible with multiple mobile TV transmission standards such as DAB/DAB IP/T-DMB, DVB-H/T and DMB-T.
Zhao also stated that despite earlier rumors that CMMB had withdrawn from SAC's approval process, SAC is proceeding with testing of CMMB, as well as T-MMB, DMB-TH, CDMB, for potential selection as the national mobile TV standard. Huawei's CMB didn't participate because SAC made it clear from the beginning that it was looking for broadcasting-based, rather than mobile network-based standards.
Privately owned iVision was set up in early 2004, and has received VC funding from Gobi Partners, DoCoMo, IBM, Steamboat (Disney), McGraw-Hill and Sierra Ventures.
Keywords: Mobile TV mobile phone TV CMMB Huawei CMB Nufront T-MMB Tsinghua University DMB-TH i-Vision IMMB China Association for Standardization CDMB trial national standard mobile TV standard developer