DMB Plus, a consortium bidding for the ground-wave digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) license, was inaugurated on 28 December 2004 with a signing ceremony that formally established cooperative operations among more than 30 member companies. The Korea IT Times interviewed Chang Min-ho, director of DMB Operations for the 'DMB Plus' consortium on the markets this exciting new technology will create. The following are excerpts from the interview.
Q: Digital Multimedia Broadcasting, or DMB for short, is certain to become a major focus for the IT industry in 2005. What preparations has your company made to take a leading role in this field
A: We are the lead company of the DMB Plus, a consortium set up to win a license that will enable us to become involved in ground wave DMB broadcasting. Since the first part of last year, we have embarked on a research project and built cooperative ties with over 30 business partners.
DMB requires a large sum of investment capital at the initial stage of its broadcasting, and presently, we are doing our best to attract sufficient capital and effect positive changes in the domestic broadcasting industry.
In the event that DMB Plus wins the license, we plan to operate directly such high value-added services as video, audio, and data channels and adopt a 'win-win operating method in close consultation with our shareholders.
Q: What effect will the launch of DMB services have on the national IT industry and on everyday life
A: DMB is a video technology everyone has dreamt of. Until now, watching television has been a stationary household experience. However, a DMB user can enjoy broadcast contents whenever and wherever he or she wishes by carrying a portable DMB display.
In view of the fact that a growing number of people are seeking better quality of life through increased outdoor activities due to more companies opting for a five-day workweek, it is expected that DMB, as a stand-alone media device will have far-reaching effects on all facets of life.
With three-quarters of the Korean population being mobile phone users, and in view of the trend that digital convergence is being hasted through mobile phones, I believe the far-reaching effects of DMB will surpass one's imagination.
Also, there is an advantage to ground wave DMB services. Unlike satellite DMB, it's possible to watch programs broadcast via ground wave free of charge. Moreover, DMB provides not only television and radio signals but it can also channel through other interactive forms of data that facilitate e-commerce and contents transactions. With such services readily available, its influence will be enormous.
Q: What are business prospects for DMB operations at home and abroad
A: Many institutions have come up with different forecasts. However, we estimate that the total number of DMB displays in use, for both ground wave and satellite signals, will have exceeded 10 million by 2007 when DMB service will have entered its third year in operation. Also, it is expected that DMB will be the nation's most influential broadcasting media with the number of DMB displays exceeding 20 million by 2010.
As Korea will be the first nation in the world to have begun operating DMB services, Korean-made displayers will have enormous export potential.
-KH Lee (email@example.com)-
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