Why MediaFLO, DVB-H Are Doomed
Date: Thursday, October 06 @ 14:49:10 MDT
Topic: Sprint PCS

That's right, doomed.

MediaFLO and DVB-H have about zero change of receiving market saturation. I don't need to write three paragraphs to explain why, but, I will take the space to list all the reasons in detail.

First off, let's explain what MediaFLO and DVB-H are. These are essentially ways of running a second network, with the specific intent of pushing television. Now, I know what you're thinking... you have Sprint TV Live, you have Orb running just fine pushing TV to your device for free, but, Qualcomm and others want to make it easier (and, much more expensive) to watch television.

What's the best way to do that? Justify the costs by making a whole new network. Now, carriers do benefit from not having data networks swamped, and, these technologies do benefit from having higher quality, but, so what? If Sprint set up a second EV-DO network just for the purpose of watching TV, it would work much better than just having one, problem is, it already works great. With technologies such as H.264 Baseline, IP TV already is here, now.

But, let's look past that, let's talk about capacity. Doesn't it make a whole lot more sense to just boost capacity and get everyone off of old 2G phones rather than creating a whole new network which means dual-deployments and protracted support eventually? Think of it this way, if a carrier deploys anything other than 1x on the CDMA side, they will have to keep supporting it indefinitely. Which, is why EV-DO is getting its life-span continued considerably, carriers that would have switched to EV-DV would have to continue supporting EV-DO, or terminate EV-DO and leave people on EV-DO handsets with only 1xRTT. With neither situation acceptable, EV-DO was continued while Qualcomm took EV-DV back, and started tooling it into the "next big thing". Even when EV-DV does enter the market evolved, the problem will still exist to EV-DO users that eventually support will fallback to 1xRTT (or, the carrier will have to accept every market's capacity will be segmented to support it).

Why does this matter? Because, if you have to adopt MediaFLO/DVB-H, and EV-DO, and EV-DV eventually, that's now three networks you have to support, even if EV-DV is substantially better than the other two combined at the other two's tasks. Meaning, you now have to run three networks instead of one.

So, how do we as in industry keep supplying TV as we all know, TV is going to increase bandwidth demands considerably. My response is "raise your game carriers". MediaFLO is a fallback to inefficient networks that cannot carry the bandwidth that they will need to in the future, it's a poor stop-gap solution. In the long run it is simply impossible to not see the cost effectiveness of deploying improved local-loops and building out data networks in order to ensure that capacity will meet rising demands.

Verizon however has a tough time seeing these conclusions until it is far too late. They did not see that EV-DO would need capacity that they simply did not have in major markets, and did not attempt to increase 3G voice-only phone consumption when they needed to. Sprint did and thus had no problems deploying EV-DO where and when they needed to in terms of capacity. Now, Verizon is looking to deploy DVB-H, and it simply begs the question when will they learn?

This article comes from Sprint PCS Info

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