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CES Feature Articles

January 05, 2009

ICO Intros Mobile TV for Cars: Up to 15 Channels for as Little as $15 per Month


In a sign of mobility’s strength despite the economic recession, a technology publication reportedly says that TV-on-the-go is emerging as a major feature this week at an international trade show.

 
Officials at PC Magazine say that one mobile TV system featured at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – ICO’s mim – is a satellite-based service for cars. The company says its ICO mim will deliver 10 to 15 channels of premium live TV content for 7 to 15-inch screens.
 
Chris Doherty, a spokesperson for ICO Global Communications, reportedly told PC Magazine that the company’s G1 satellite launched in April, and it covers the entire United States, though mim will roll out city-by-city.
 
That’s because ICO must install ground-based repeaters to make sure drivers get signal even where they can’t see the sky, Doherty reportedly told the magazine.
 
“Terrestrial repeaters in urban areas allow signals to get to places where satellite signals tend to be challenged,” Doherty reportedly said.
 
Hopefully, mobile TV will remain a technology that merely entertains passengers and does not distract drivers on the road.
 
As TMCnet reported, safety concerns prompted the nation’s most populous state to take away one increasingly popular means of communications this month, as California’s no-text while driving law went into effect Jan. 1.
 
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ Web site, new rule, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, bans writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication while driving in the Golden State.
 
As MSNBC reports, the law applies to wireless phones, or other communication devices, used for text-based communication. The ban includes, and is not limited to text messages, instant messages, or e-mail, according to the vehicle department.
 
The state already requires adult drivers to use hands-free devices for cell phones, and bans 16- and 17-year-olds from using any device to talk or text while driving.
 
For some, the ban apparently has come too late.
 
As TMCnet reported, federal authorities recently confirmed the role that text-messaging likely played in the tragic accident in Los Angeles last month that saw a commuter train collide with a Union Pacific freighter, killing 25 people.
 
Officials at ICO reportedly are using equipment from Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) for their mim system, running DVB-SH, an international standard.
 
The company is planning to initially deliver 10 to 15 channels of live video, plus navigation information, weather data and an OnStar-like emergency assistance service, Doherty reportedly told PC Magazine. Video programming will come from NBC Universal, Turner, MTV and Viacom – and ICO reportedly is eying a price tag (News - Alert) of about $15 to $25 per month.
 

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan





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