Telephone TV

Broadcasting television to mobile phones

3 min read

Bored with chatting, sending text messages, and playing games on your cellphone to pass the time? Try watching TV. Thousands of cellphone owners in Europe and North America are doing just that, using services that stream content to their handsets over high-speed, packet-based cellular networks. And millions more could soon join the fray with the launch of an alternative television-broadcast technology.

This reporter tested the streamed service in Germany and viewed a demonstration of the emerging broadcast service at the CeBit 2005 trade show in Hannover, Germany, in March. The verdict: if you're hooked on TV, both services are great for watching news, sports, and quickly digestible entertainment programs, while you're in transit. But watching an hour-long TV program or a movie on a small screen is hard on the eyes, not to mention the wallet if you're buying the video stream from your mobile service provider.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
Horizontal
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres
LightBlue

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

Keep Reading ↓Show less