Vendors are lining up at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona to show a new mobile TV delivery technology with near-broadcast qualities.

The new technology, called Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS), will allow operators to multicast programmes instead of having to establish point-to-point links for each device. As a result, they will be able to meet future demands of mobile TV users during peak live TV broadcasts, such as sporting events and breaking news.

The MBMS system will compete with DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) and DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) technologies, which are designed to broadcast TV signals directly to mobile phones, thus bypassing mobile operators' networks.

Ericsson will show its MBMS system, which the company expects to be commercially available next year. The system will offer users fast-channel switching, among other features.

Qualcomm and Huawei Technologies will jointly demonstrate MBMS. The demonstration will feature a handset equipped with Qualcomm's Mobile Station Modem (MSM7200) chipset receiving TV programmes at 256Kbps from Huawei's 3G HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) network. The MSM7200 chipset, which is expected to be commercially available in handsets and smartphones in the second quarter of 2007, supports 7.2Mbps HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) and up to 5.76Mbps HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) speeds.