Digital broadcasting networks are being developed worldwide to deliver high-bandwidth, real-time content to and from mobile platforms. Lefebvre describes a tension in the convergence of telco- and broadcast-driven services; telcos tend to promote subscription based services while broadcasters try to extend their free-to-air model. The good news is that breakthrough, open applications are emerging which can deliver reliable and innovative mobile broadcast networks.
Communications Research Centre is a government research organization involved in various aspects of digital media encoding and broadcasting. Lefebvre explores different factors that are shaping efforts to develop mobile networks for efficient distribution of content to large audiences. He demonstrates some of the components for mobile transmitters and receivers that CRC has developed based on the Openmoko stack. His Openmokast system, run from a virtual environment or live CD, can deliver live content to mobile devices using a combination of software and USB components. Lefebvre sees this system as a catalyst for the creation of mobile broadcast applications on open mobile handsets based on Openmoko, Andriod and others.
François Lefebvre joined the Broadcast Technologies research branch at the Communications Research Centre Canada in 1999 to lead its Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting team. Since then, he has contributed to numerous national and international standardization efforts and R&D projects. His recent work has focused on creating and developing software building blocks for next generation mobile broadcasting networks, devices and applications by leveraging free tools (as in beer and speech) such as GNU Radio and Openmoko. Prior to this, François worked ten years in Europe as researcher for R&D laboratories in France and Germany and as freelancer for for various clients involved with early stage multimedia and Internet projects. François holds an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Laval University, Québec, Canada.
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Photo: James Duncan Davidson