The Sinclair subsidiary says that the carrier’s suggestion that broadcasters want an FCC mandate requiring cellphone makers to put ATSC 3.0 tuners in their phones is a “red herring.” “Nothing mandates that T-Mobile incorporate Next Gen TV capabilities in devices designed for T-Mobile’s customers,” it says. However, it also says, contrary to T-Mobile’s claims, tuners could be installed in phones.
ONE Media, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group venture established to advance the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard, is taking exception to T-Mobile’s FCC filing objecting to an FCC mandate that makers of cellphones install ATSC 3.0 tuners in their devices and suggesting that it is too difficult and costly to do.
In a filing at the commission today, ONE Media calls the mandate objection a “red herring” and disputes the idea that phones cannot be equipped to receive 3.0 signals.
“T-Mobile’s filing is based on a red herring. The Next Gen TV rulemaking proceeding contemplates a voluntary deployment of the Next Gen TV standard by broadcasters, and neither the petitioners for the rulemaking nor any broadcasters to our knowledge has advocated for a tuner mandate in fixed or mobile devices. We believe the marketplace is the appropriate venue to meet the burgeoning opportunities created by Next Gen TV and intend to pursue those opportunities notwithstanding T-Mobile’s reticence. Nothing mandates that T-Mobile incorporate Next Gen TV capabilities in devices designed for T-Mobile’s customers; if T-Mobile doesn’t want to compete, it does not have to.
“The complexity of designing mobile devices is a challenge worth pursuing. T-Mobile discusses in detail the challenges associated with mobile device design to support Next Gen capabilities over 600 MHz spectrum. But delivery of broadcast video to mobile devices in the UHF-TV band is not new. It has been successfully demonstrated as far back as 2007.
“Additionally, T-Mobile should be ready to address the challenges of building receivers for the 600 MHz band, since it also must do so for its own services that it plans to deliver over the same 600 MHz spectrum that it just acquired for $8 billion in the incentive auction. The antenna size, for example, is no different for T-Mobile than it is for any broadcasters deploying Next Gen TV.
“If broadcasters need to design mobile devices for those channels, so does T-Mobile. The potential for dynamic competitive and complementary services to those offered by wireless carriers is worth pursuing. ONE Media has committed to helping “seed” that process with millions of free, mobile-enabled chip sets. T-Mobile is welcome to use them.
“Public safety and emergency information delivery is vastly enhanced on a broadcast platform. Cellular infrastructure faces significant challenges during mass emergencies like public safety crises and catastrophic weather events. Next Gen TV’s capability to deliver rich media information to users on a spectrally efficient, one-to-many basis should be embraced by T-Mobile and the wireless industry in general.
“Next Gen TV can alleviate the burden of Internet links, photos, live video, and other rich media by pushing that content over the broadcast network, and leaving the cellular network for the two-way communications for which it is primarily designed. T-Mobile’s charge that Next Gen TV’s “inferior” life-saving services would not enhance public safety is simply ludicrous. Seeing live Doppler radar images, real-time weather conditions, evacuation routes, emergency center locations, in multiple languages from robust towers and backed-up transmitters is, in and of itself, a singular justification to adopt Next Gen TV.
“The wireless industry should welcome Next Gen TV capabilities in their devices to work in co-operation with the cell phones that can provide one-to-one communications where possible and leave the robust one-to-many information delivery to broadcasters.
“Competition is a good thing. The commission should skeptically view T-Mobile’s ‘White Paper’ for what it is: a self-serving, protectionist attempt to prevent new entrants from competing in the mobile video marketplace. We believe there will be a robust marketplace for Next Gen TV mobile services, and that device manufacturers will find a way to meet that demand. If the mobile opportunities for Next Gen TV are sufficiently compelling, then the marketplace will respond accordingly. If T-Mobile does not want to participate, it doesn’t have to.”