Fourth-generation wireless, expected to deliver wireless broadband at 20-40 Mbps (about 10-20 times the current rates of ADSL broadband service].

Interactive digital television

Interactive digital TV (iDTV)

Television displayed using a digital signal delivered by a range of media - cable, satellite, terrestrial [aerial]. Interactions can be provided through phone line or cable service.

Interactive digital television (iDTV) has now been used in Europe for nearly ten years to deliver broadcasting to homes and offer new interactive services. In France, Canal Plus launched iDTV in 1996, Télévision par satellite launched in 1997 and Spain, Italy and Germany have had these facilities since 1996 or 1997. In the UK, levels of access to interactive digital TV rival those of the Internet. All three main new media are tracked by the MORI Technology Tracker (www.e-mori.co.uk) (Figure 2.16). The importance of digital TV is indicated by these figures, which in 2005 were equal to Internet access at 60% household penetration.

Interactive digital TV offers similar e-commerce facilities to the Internet, but is provided with a simpler interface with more limited content that can be operated from a remote control. The amount of information available from providers is lower because of limited bandwidth shared between channels.

Table 3.3 summarises the proposition for interactive digital TV. It is evident that it is more similar to PC-based Internet access than to mobile access. A key difference is that TV viewing is more likely to involve several members of a family while PC usage is more individual. This may cause conflict in use of some individualised iDTV services.

Table 3.3 Summary of interactive digital TV consumer proposition

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