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Delivering real-time mobile TV services

Millions of people in Europe and Africa, watching television programmes and videos on their mobile devices, have been using software created by researchers at Brunel's Wireless Networks and Communications Centre.

Led by Professor John Cosmas, and working in collaboration with a large group of industrial partners, the team developed the DVB-CBMS (Digital Video Broadcast – Convergence of Broadcast and Mobile Services) system which allows users to access mainstream TV channels in real time through various networks around the world.

This was subsequently adapted to become OMA-BCAST (Open Mobile Alliance – Broadcasting Services Enabler Suite). OMA-BCAST has been successfully used in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana since 2010, while DVB-CBMS services have been made available at various times in Italy, Austria and Germany.

The aim behind the software development programme has been to allow all mobile users, regardless of their choice of device, location or network, to watch TV programmes without interruption.

It has been achieved by creating a convergence system that delivers content either through the broadcast mode, or via the cellular network, switching between them to ensure an unbroken service.

Since 2000, Prof Cosmas and his team have been leading the development and enhancement of the international convergence system through a series of European Commission-funded projects. Their work has been made available to industry through journals, trade fairs and conferences, and has been adopted as standard by key bodies including the Digital Video Broadcast project and the Open Mobile Alliance.