The main objective is to develop and demonstrate a cellular radio system to provide broadband interactive digital television and multi-media services through several user and service trials in five areas in Europe. The project involves detailed studies of the systems architecture necessary for implementation and the development of standards vital for future commercial products. Frequency planning and spectrum engineering play an important role in this process. Mechanisms to exploit the technology commercially will be established.
The project is concerned with cellular radio access to interactive television and broadband services. Based on the definition of user, service and technical requirements, it involves extensive user and service trials in two phases. The project features a detailed study of the systems architecture required for the successful commercial deployment of interactive TV and other broadband services such as fast Internet. Compatibility with MPEG-2 and DVB is paramount. The protocols, modulation and coding schemes which provide optimum solutions in terms of error rates, quality of service and response time are investigated through simulations and technical trials.
Investigations of millimetre wave propagation issues, which are critical in providing both optimum coverage within a cell and limiting interference between cells, will be conducted. The current ACTS projects on radio access, multi-media and ATM technology will also provide relevant and valuable inputs for this project.
Summary of Trial
Technical trials will take place in five locations, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Norway and the UK. Four of these will involve investigations of service and user requirements. The trials are performed by cable operators, broadcasters, telecom operators and research organisations. They include digital broadcasting, fast Internet , educational aspects and telecom services requiring broadband access.
These trials, which are in two phases, provide several channels of digital broadcasting at 42-GHz with an interactive return path, initially at low data rates. This utilises either existing radio-based systems (DECT or GSM), or twisted pairs. In the second phase broadband interactive channels will be implemented at data rates up to several Mbit/s where ATM technology will probably be employed. The return path transmissions will be accomplished through millimetre wave systems.
From the third call the project extension MAPT (Microcellular Access Platform for Telecommunications) has been included in CRABS. Its main objective is to establish a platform for provision of TV and Telephony in particular, but also Internet and other services, in areas with poor telecommunication infrastructure. A trial site outside Moscow is chosen in co-operation with a local cable operator.
Achievements The achievements include:
- results from a study of the market and of user and service requirements;
- demonstrations of a practical cellular access to interactive digital television and broadband services;
- results from user trials in a variety of realistic conditions and different countries;
- a recommended approach to the provision of interactivity including results of system modelling;
- requirements for the interactive channel;
- recommendation for the future system;
- new propagation information, simulation and modelling leading to prediction procedures for service availability and frequency reuse;
- contributions to standards bodies, ACTS concertation mechanisms and appropriate scientific groups;
- publicity for the concept and means of implementing a cellular broadband system.
The successful completion of this project will provide a cellular system for accessing interactive broadcast and multi-media services. This approach provides the only method in many rural locations, where fixed networks are not appropriate and could be a more environmental-friendly solution for historic and cultural cities. The commercial exploitation of this concept could provide European industry with considerable export potential for the developing world.
Main contributions to the programme objectives:
Development and demonstration of an Local Multipoint Distribution Services system with full service interactivity operated in the 40.5-42.5 Ghz frequency band based on satellite technology.
Contribution to the programme
Development of inexpensive broadband access for Interactive Multimedia Services and increasing the awareness for broadband radio access among users, operators and regulators.
- Use of millimetre waves to access multi-channel interactive digital TV and other broadband services
- Demonstration and trials of these concepts in several European locations
- Interactive broadband services through radio delivery systems using ATM technology
- Study of systems architecture allowing interoperability into other services
- Planning methods to evaluate area coverage and interference issues
- Contribute to the development and establishment of international standards
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
OX11 0QX Didcot