Streaming to Cellular Phones (3GPP)
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Streaming audio and video to cell phone is something becoming more widespread among cell phone providers in Europe and the United States. The integration of video and audio services with phones is becoming popular with Verizon's VCast technology and other major carriers working on their own home grown video delivery systems. The only problem is major carriers are not creating any way for small to medium sized businesses to deliver video content to cell phones. If you own a cell phone you may have heard of some of the following acronyms:
How can I stream audio and video to a cell phone?
3G is the third generation cellular protocol that will support increase voice capacity and high-speed data transfer. 3GPP and 3GPP2 are the worldwide standards for the creation, delivery and playback of multimedia over 3rd generation, high-speed wireless networks.
Defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project and 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 respectively, these standards seek to provide uniform delivery of rich multimedia over newly evolved, broadband mobile networks (3rd generation networks) to the latest multimedia-enabled cell phones.
The services associated with 3G provide the ability to transfer both voice data (a telephone call) and non-voice data (such as downloading information, exchanging email, and instant messaging).
In marketing 3G services, video telephony has often been used as the flag-ship killer application for 3G. A certain euphoria was created, which led to huge spectrum-licensing fees in many countries, especially in Europe, where spectrum auctions generated many billions of euros for the respective countries. Since these spectrum licensing fees were collected many years before any income could be expected from 3G business, and since enormous investments are necessary to build the 3G networks, many telecommunication operators got into great financial difficulties, which greatly delayed 3G roll-out in all countries except Japan and South Korea, where such spectrum licensing fees were avoided since priority was set on national IT infrastructure development.
The first country which introduced 3G on a large commercial scale was Japan. In 2005 about 40% of subscribers use 3G networks only, and 2G is on the way out in Japan. It is expected that during 2006 the transition from 2G to 3G will be largely completed in Japan, and upgrades to the next 3.5G stage with 3 Mbit/s data rates is underway.
The successful 3G introduction in Japan shows that video telephony is not a killer application for 3G networks after all. Actually, the real-life usage of video telephony on 3G networks is only a very very small fraction of all services. On the other hand, downloading of music finds very strong demand by customers. Music downloads were pioneered by KDDI with the EZchakuuta and the Chaku Uta Full services.
Next generation (3G) wireless networks are not IEEE 802.11 networks. IEEE 802.11 networks are short range, primarily internet access, networks while 3G wireless networks are the evolution of wide area cellular telephone networks which hope to incorporate high-speed internet access and video telephony to these networks.
Features of 3G Technology
The most significant features offered by third generation (3G) mobile technologies are the momentous capacity and broadband capabilities to support greater numbers of voice and data customers - especially in urban centres - plus higher data rates at lower incremental cost than 2G.
By using the radio spectrum in bands identified, which is provided by the ITU for Third Generation IMT-2000 mobile services, it subsequently licensed to operators. 3G uses 5 MHz channel carrier width to deliver significantly higher data rates and increased capacity compared with 2G networks.
The 5 MHz channel carrier provides optimum use of radio resources for operators who have been granted large, contiguous blocks of spectrum. On the other hand, it also helps to reduce the cost to 3G networks while being capable of providing extremely high-speed data transmission to users.
It also allows the transmission of 384kbps for mobile systems and 2Mbps for stationary systems. 3G users are expected to have greater capacity and improved spectrum efficiency, which will allow them to access global roaming between different 3G networkings.
How do I know if 3GPP is in my area?
Cellular providers like Verizon, Sprint, Nextel, T-Mobil and others have started offering services where you can receive audio and video over the cellular network. 3GPP is currently available in Europe. Cell phone providers have been working diligently to upgrade their networks to handle the additional data transfer required for audio and video streaming.
The 3GPP format is widely accepted and considered one of the the most compatible formats among the cellular industry. Most, but not all, of the proprietary and 3rd party streaming players are able to play 3GPP compatible content. If there is a specific model of phone that you want to target, it is best that you know which formats are compatible with that phone.
Biondo Communications provides 3GPP streaming services to mobile phones using a Darwin Streaming Server on a FreeBSD dedicated server. Depending on your target audience, a basic Windows Media, Real Player, or MP3 stream might suit your needs.
Darwin Streaming Server (running on a dedicated server environment)
All 3GPP compliant mobile phones and WAP devices
Take the next step
To learn more about how we can assist your organization with streaming video and audio content to cell phones please contact us for a free consultation.
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