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FLO Forum completes open framework

8 November 2007

The FLO Forum has finalised the Open Conditional Access (or OpenCA) Key Management System Framework. OpenCA is intended to create a standards-based environment that enables multiple vendors to implement content security systems within the FLO architecture. The FLO Forum is a body of over 90 global wireless industry leaders dedicated to the open standardisation of FLO technology for mobile multimedia broadcast, writes Adrian Pennington.

“The opportunity to leverage standardised CA systems on top of FLO technology was identified by several of the FLO Forum’s members,” said Dr. Kamil Grajski, President, FLO Forum. “The FLO Forum prides itself on being a member-driven organization and, as with all FLO standards to date, our members have been extremely active in working collaboratively to develop the OpenCA framework.”

The OpenCA framework provides a standard interface for CA systems to interoperate, ensuring that FLO network operators do not become dependent on a particular vendor. Instead, they can replace an entire CA system seamlessly with another system, or run multiple systems concurrently in a ‘Simulcrypt’ setting. This provides operators with increased flexibility in response to new security demands or business model requirements.

The framework also enables content providers to offer a wider choice of premium content on mobile without the risk of piracy, helping to create a compelling end-user mobile TV experience.

Three European members were instrumental in authoring the specification; Irdeto, Nagravision and NDS all contributed via the FLO Forum’s Content & Services and Technical Committees. Newport Media, Verimatrix and Widevine Technologies also contributed to the review and approval of the framework.

“Content security is a fundamental requirement for all digital TV services and its effectiveness in mobile TV will be under close scrutiny as the market expands,” commented Charles Lo, Chair, FLO Forum Technical Committee. “Flexible, secure CA systems will be key not only in assuring revenues for operators, but also in encouraging content owners to offer high quality content – which, in turn, will drive consumer uptake.”

“In an industry where there are multiple standards, not all of which are fully positioned, it is critical for organisations like the FLO Forum to provide this kind of clarity,” added Doug Lowther, VP, Sales & Marketing, Irdeto.

Nigel Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, NDS said: “The completion of the OpenCA Framework is a significant step towards the global availability of highly secure premium content on the FLO mobile entertainment platform.”

Jim Veres, VP, Mobile Engineering, Widevine Technologies agreed: “Completing the specification for mobile content security paves the way for the secure delivery of high value content to FLO compatible mobile devices. The standard created allows operators to select the content security vendor that best meets their needs.”

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