CMMB Vision JV teams with China Telecom for satellite/LTE network for connected cars

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Hong Kong satellite-to-mobile broadcaster CMMB Vision announced that its China-based JV, Global Vision Media Technology, has entered into a strategic cooperation framework agreement with China Telecom to develop a converged satellite/LTE mobile network dedicated to connected-car services.

Under the agreement, China Telecom will combine its terrestrial 3G/LTE mobile network with CMMB Vision’s L-band satellite broadcasting network to develop a mobile delivery network with dedicated technologies, multimedia services, and business models tailored to connected-cars and mobile users.

The networks will be combined via NGB-W/S, China’s next-generation satellite broadcasting protocol, which will enable satellite’s vast geographical coverage, data delivery capacity, and cost-effectiveness to be integrated with terrestrial mobile Internet network’s interactivity, deep-coverage, and intelligent functions in providing optimized and holistic mobile multimedia entertainment and data services.

Such a platform is especially suitable for connected-cars for their voracious needs for extensive geographical coverage, high mobility, large multimedia data download, and interconnectivity, CMMB Vision said in a statement.

The basic rationale behind the agreement is that LTE networks can’t cost-effectively deliver data-intensive multimedia entertainment and big-data services to connected cars due to capacity and coverage limitations. Satellite broadcasting can effectively deliver extensive coverage at a very low delivery cost, but the connectivity is one-way. A converged satellite/terrestrial network would combines the strengths of both and compensates each other’s weaknesses. (The CMMB Vision statement doesn’t mention the latency issues associated with geostationary satellite-based data services, or whether a terrestrial LTE component might compensate for it.)

Both parties will jointly construct the converged network and carry out comprehensive technical and business trials to perfect its commercial readiness. Allying with TIAA, both parties will promote its converged digital mobile broadcasting network as an industry standard for connected-car applications. Both parties will also facilitate the development of a supply-chain ecosystem dedicated to providing terminal devices and applications catering to the converged network.

Global Vision will provide the respective satellite capabilities, media content and channel programming, while China Telecom will provide the respective Internet data center facilities, content distribution network (CDN), and ground mobile communication network.

Through business trial and testing, both parties will explore business models for deeper commercial collaboration. Global Vision and China Telecom will collaborate in development of vehicle and mobile devices and applications, and create a holistic connected-car service platform to offer unified media, information, entertainment, and data services.

Global Vision and China Telecom will also collaborate on satellite transponder operations, ground station and uplink operations, and other related satellite commercial opportunities.

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