Interactive Video & Data Services (IVDS): a cellular overlay concept
Burch, Richard Lee
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The time lost to society due to the increasing delays associated with shopping access or service is staggering. Using Clinton's minimum wage of $5.l51hr, we're "losing" almost $1.92 billion in "discretionary time" each week. With the establishment of the IVDS (Interactive Video and Data Services) spectrum allocation by the FCC, some needed relief for this "wasteful hemorrhage" is in sight. In October, 1993, the FCC allocated the 218·219 MHz band to IVDS which is a two-way "interactive super highway" that extends consumer television to provide new transaction and information services; initially, the primary focus is on home-shopping. The problem for the FCC is to promote competition within the IVDS industry, while the problem facing IVDS operators is that of providing a minimum complexity, reliable, and cost effective system. These problems of competition, cost effectiveness, reliability, and complexity are the focus for this study. Within the context of IVDS, at least two (2) system approaches have already been proposed; a duplex system based on TDMA and a simplex system "loosely" based on SSMA (CDMA). A third alternative is a "cellular overlay" approach, which is proposed as part of this study. This third approach utilizes the existing "cellular" infrastructure and relies on a high level of synergy between the cellular operators and the lTV operators. Its ties to the existing cellular network form the basis for superior reliability and cost effectiveness performance when compared to the alternatives. The study reviews the "existing" duplex and simplex proposals, and compares them with the "overlay" alternative. The basic overlay concept and a description of key system viability elements are presented. The fundamental systematics considered are: capacity; LCC (life cycle cost); availability; multiple access; and cost effectiveness. Since the purpose of this study is to present a viable alternative concept to existing proposals, a relevant subset of the DoD early concept exploration/definition (C/E) phase was considered: need (mission need statement); FCC requirements drivers; system concept feasibility and functionality; LCe (life cycle cost factors); and initial "type A spec" input. This is a key subset of the supraset making up the Systems Engineering Process. Using the system availability and life cycle cost estimates, it is concluded that the proposals rank, in order of most to least effective, Cellular Overlay, IRSinc, and E-on, respectively. Based on "economies of scope and scale" which exist between cellular and IVDS, the synergy between IVDS and cellular could translate to a savings of 38-48% relative to the cost for a standalone IVDS infrastructure.