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TIA Accepts FLO Air Interface for Multicasting

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July 18, 2006

TIA Accepts FLO Air Interface for Multicasting

By Robert Liu, TMCnet Executive Editor


A special group within the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has officially approved publication of the Forward-Link-Only (FLO) Air Interface Specification (AIS) as TIA-1099, a consortium that champions the multicasting technology announced on Tuesday.
The FLO Forum, which was formed a year ago by Qualcomm (News - Alert), its MediaFLO unit and about a dozen telecom equipment vendors, submitted the FLO specifications to TIA’s TR-47.1 Subcommittee back in January. The TIA's TR-47 Engineering Committee is responsible for the development and maintenance of Terrestrial Mobile Multimedia Multicast (TM3) standards.
“Approval of the Air Interface Specification is an important part of the process of developing a complete set of standards based on FLO technology,” said Dan Bart, senior vice president, Standards and Special Projects, at TIA. “The FLO Forum is playing a key role in making FLO specifications open and uniform for developers. This effort dovetails perfectly with the TIA's desire to standardize the technologies needed by industry for use in Terrestrial Mobile Multimedia Multicast.”
But even though the FLO Forum has won the backing of a powerful ally, the FLO air interface still essentially competes with the DVB-H multicasting standard backed by Nokia (News - Alert), Microsoft (News - Alert) and Crown Castle International’s Modeo subsidiary, which plans to deploy mobile TV multicast service based on the European standard in the 1.67 GHz band.
“Publication of the FLO Air Interface Specification by the TIA TR-47.1 engineering subcommittee marks a significant milestone in the FLO Forum program of promoting global open standardization of FLO technology,” said Dr. Kamil A Grajski, president of the FLO Forum. “The FLO Forum believes that open standardization is essential for developing a competitive marketplace for vendors and operators to bring advanced multimedia applications to consumers worldwide.”
Last month, the FLO Forum published three key technical specifications defining the functions and structure of the air interface.
Robert Liu is Executive Editor at TMCnet. Previously, he was Executive Editor at Jupitermedia and has also written for CNN, A&E, Dow Jones and Bloomberg. For more articles, please visit Robert Liu's columnist page.

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