A major leap forward in the performance of real-time video on the 3G network


18-02-2002

A solution to ensure that 3G video telephony not only works, but delivers consistently high quality



Feature rich content is the phrase most commonly associated with the 3G network.

Operators need to convince handset owners to subscribe to added value content as a way of generating revenue.



At the core of this feature rich environment lies video and the tantalising prospect of real time images delivered to us via our handsets - video conferencing, sporting events, face to face communication and machine to machine connections are just the tip of the real time video iceberg.



However, there are question marks around the network's ability to operate consistently and reliably when it comes to delivering higher-rate real-time applications, including video. The problem is so large that Cambridge based Alphamosaic and PA Consulting Group believe these flaws could restrict the appetite among consumers for 3G.



'The fact is that conventional video streaming, intended for use over the 'loss-less' internet, won't perform adequately when applied to a wireless environment,' says Robert Swann of Alphamosaic, who adds: 'Where the medium (3G) has high error rates, or where available bandwidth changes rapidly, conventional video streaming hits problems.'



For example: conventionally, a video codec must 'run blind' i.e. guess the available bandwidth or use an average value. However, every time the network service drops, the video data will back-up introducing delays called 'latency'. This results in jerky pictures with images often freezing until the network recovers.



Following a Collaboration Agreement between Alphamosaic and PA Consulting Group, experts from both organisations have developed a solution to ensure that 3G video telephony not only works, but delivers consistently high quality.



'Using knowledge of the radio link to control the video codec enables substantial improvements in performance and error resilience', says Dr Phil White of PA.



By combining PA's Quality of Service technology which enables a phone to recognise the statistics of the 3G network, with Alphamosaic's low power, flexible video processor Videocore, the two companies have developed a Dynamically Variable Bandwidth Codec (DVBC)



DVBC can take advantage of the measurements from the Quality of Service layer and use the information to alter the way in which video is coded, while still complying with the various emerging codecs such as MPEG4.



The result is a seamless video experience for the user and a major step forward in the wireless video revolution.



Alphamosaic and PA Consulting will be demonstrating their technologies at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes on 19-22 February 2002 on stand G52, exhibition hall 2.



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For more information and photographs, please contact:



PA Consulting Group:



John O'Neill +44 (0)1763 267133 email: john.o'neill@paconsulting.com



Alphamosaic:

Steve Greenhalgh, Profile Communications 01223 236736 e-mail halghs@aol.com. Mobile 07779 129193



Note to editors:



1. PA Consulting Group is a leading management, systems and technology consulting firm, with a unique combination of these capabilities. Established almost 60 years ago, and operating world-wide from over 40 offices in more than 20 countries, PA draws on the knowledge and experience of around 4,000 people, whose skills span the initial generation of ideas and insights all the way through to detailed implementation.



PA builds strategies for the creation and capture of shareholder and customer value, and helps clients accelerate business growth through innovation and the application of technology. PA works with clients to improve performance, mobilize human resources and deliver change effectively, including managing major projects, and designing and implementing enterprise-wide systems and full e-business solutions.



PA focuses on creating benefits for clients rather than merely proposing them, and this focus is supported by an outstanding implementation track record in every major industry and for governments around the world. PA also develops leading-edge technology both for its clients and within its own portfolio of venture companies in areas ranging from software to wireless technology to life sciences.



PA distinguishes itself from its competitors through the range and quality of its people, the depth of its industry insight, its development and use of technology, and also its independence and culture of respect, collaboration and flexibility in working with clients.



We are proud that our clients say 'PA makes it happen'.

www.paconsulting.com



2. Alphamosaic provides innovative video for everyday products, servicing markets including Handheld Computers, Security Cameras and Surveillance Systems and particularly Mobile Videophones.



VideoCore, the company's core technology, is a flexible, high performance and low power video processor platform that enables device manufacturers to rapidly integrate advanced video processing functionality into their designs. VideoCore offers a unique architecture consisting of a 32 bit RISC scalar processor and 16 8/16-bit vector processors that have been optimised to support video processing algorithms, proprietary codecs and industry standard codecs such as MPEG4. VideoCore's processor architecture couple with its advanced software tool chain and algorithm libraries provides a compelling solution for the deployment of rich personal media.



Alphamosaic has recently raised 6.3M in venture backing, receiving unprecedented interest despite the prevailing hostile investment climate.



For more information, please visit Alphamosaic's web site at

www.alphamosaic.com

To read more information, click here.

PA Consulting Group is an innovation and transformation consultancy. We believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world.

PA Consulting