South Korea tests novel TV service for cellphones

  • ASEAN+
  • Tuesday, 11 Jan 2005

SEOUL: South Korea launched trial operations yesterday of the world's first satellite-based television service for mobile phone users. 

The system, using technology developed by Japan's Toshiba Corp, allows mobile phone users in cars, trains or on street corners to watch high-definition digital TV programming by satellite. 

After a four-month trial, TU Media Corp, 30% owned by South Korea's top mobile carrier SK Telecom, said it would begin commercial services in early May. 

“Our services, the world's first for mobile phones, mark a turning point in the telecom industry,” said TU Media spokesman Heo Jae-Young. 

For the commercial service, TU Media will provide 14 video and 24 audio channels with a data channel scheduled for next year, he said. 

“We aim to attract eight million subscribers by 2010 with US$1bil (RM3.8bil) in revenue,” said Heo. 

The system, called satellite digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB), emerged as a result of efforts by telcos to develop new revenue sources by combining mobile communication networks with video broadcasts. 

“The mobile television business will create a new boom for the domestic market for gadgets,” said Heo. 

Samsung Electronics unveiled a new DMB mobile phone featuring a 2.2-inch screen and a battery capable of providing more than two hours of viewing time. The model is priced at 850,000 won (around RM3,000). – AFP 

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