Brazil fancies WiMax for return path

Chris Forrester

Getting a message signal back from the home television set to a TV station, or broadcaster, or advertiser, is the Holy Grail of digital broadcasting. Brazil's telecoms ministry thinks it has the solution, and is looking at using low cost WiMax for the return path.

The Brazilian government is analyzing the possibility to utilize WiMax in the digital TV return channel through the 700 Mhz WiMax band. The presidential advisor, André Barbosa, made the announcement at the recent WiMax Global Congress held in Amsterdam. He admitted that such possibility would depend on manufacturers' willingness to develop specific TV equipment, which does not exist currently, reported TV Telco Latam.
He explained that other technologies, in addition to WiMax, might be used in the digital TV return channel. One of the possibilities is given by PLC (Power Line Communication) broadband through electrical network, which is being tested in the country, though results have not been disclosed yet.

"Today, we can rely on avant-garde technology for digital TV transition and a national coverage network. We want to bring bidirectional interactivity and Internet to this universe, and we want to do it, if possible, through the incorporation of WiMax in the ISDB-T chip", Barbosa stated.

Barbosa added that the research work aimed at integrating WiMax into ISDB is already in progress in Brazil. "I recognize that it is not a simple proposal to be accepted by any of the parties, but we are positive that it would be a great novelty for both digital TV standard and WiMax".