Advanced Television

Boeing to support Chinese mobile multimedia

January 20, 2015

By Colin Mann

US broadcast station owner New York Broadband has selected Boeing Satellite Systems International for negotiation of a contract to build a new high-powered L-band satellite that will support mobile multimedia services to China and other Asian markets planned by CMMB Vision of Hong Kong.

New York Broadband (NYBB) recently acquired the AsiaStar satellite, located at 105 degrees East orbital, and its associated L-band spectrum rights. The new satellite, NYBBSat-1, will replace the AsiaStar spacecraft at that location when it is launched in mid-2017. The launch vehicle is being procured separately.

NYBB has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to lease the entire capacity of this new satellite to CMMB Vision Holdings of Hong Kong for its planned mobile multimedia service in China and Asia.

CMMB Vision has also just entered into the strategic cooperation framework agreement with Global Broadcasting Media Group (GMG), a subsidiary of China Radio International, one of the three state-media broadcasters in China. Together CMMB Vision and GMG will jointly develop and operate a satellite-based platform in China to provide mobile multimedia video, voice, and data as well as other new digital media and information services, which will also be extended to the rest of Asia.

CMMB Vision is a next-generation mobile multimedia service provider and a principal developer of leading mobile and broadcast-unicast convergence technologies such as CMMB and its next generation NGBW-LTE Convergence.

Developed with joint US-China efforts, CMMB has been adopted in China as the mobile handheld TV technology standard. In China, the standard is called ‘China Mobile Multimedia Broadcast’, with the technical name ‘Satellite-Terrestrial Interactive Mobile Infrastructure’ (sTiMi).

“The selection of Boeing for negotiation of a contract to build our new satellite is another major step for our plan to serve China and the rest of Asia with mobile multimedia programming,” said Charles Wong, Chairman and CEO of CMMB Vision. “The high power payload of the NYBBSat-1 satellite will offer satellite capacity that enables CMMB Vision to deliver services to consumer mobile devices throughout China and the rest of Asia.”

Charles Naumer, Managing Director of NYBB, said that nine months of competitive procurement process had paid off for CMMB Vision. “We are very pleased at the outcome, and for the assistance we received from Space Partnership International in the process,” he added.

CMMB technology delivers mobile multimedia service using a combination of satellite signals transmitted directly or via terrestrial retransmission stations to mobile devices. The CMMB standard makes more efficient use of spectrum than other mobile TV standards, but is similar to Europe’s DVB-SH standard for digital video broadcast for both satellites and terrestrial repeaters to mobile and handheld devices.

NYBBSat-1 will be based on Boeing’s 702MP satellite platform. The satellite will have a high-power L-band payload to support broadcast and communication services to all of China and its surrounding oceans, as well as selected Asian markets through steerable beams. With Boeing’s unique design, the beams and the power of the satellite can be reconfigured on-orbit to provide flexibility for CMMB’s services.

NYBB and SPI are actively pursuing procurement of the launch service for NYBBSat-1, as well as for the second satellite, NYBBSat-2, which will also be dedicated to CMMB Vision.

New York Broadband owns and operates 12 UHF television stations in the United States. New York Broadband recently conducted an experimental test of the technology using its New York City TV stations to demonstrate a range of CMMB-compatible devices from various manufacturers.

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