The first step to deploying fancy, shmancy Europe-wide mobile TV solution
is a successful trial
, of course, and Alcatel Lucent and SFR are happy to oblige on that end. The infrastructure firm tied up with the French carrier last year to demonstrate that DVB-SH was a viable solution -- despite the fact that SFR is really big on using 3G data for mobile TV, go figure -- by setting up a trial network in southwestern France. How do you fake a satellite-assisted network, you ask? Good question -- turns out it involves letting a helicopter chill way up there with a transmitter and pair it with a handful of repeaters strapped onto some of SFR's existing 3G towers. Basically, the companies found that DVB-SH worked like a champ with repeaters added to "only portions" of SFR's towers, making the setup a cost-effective alternative to DVB-H for wide-scale rollouts. It's still unclear whether SFR's actually interested in getting involved with a production network or whether it's sticking to its data-only guns, but regardless, other carriers are sure to benefit from the findings.