The digital mobile broadcasting (DMB) goes into full service this year. Customers of the service can experience the newly introduced handheld media while related industries concerned with displayers, broadcasting systems and equipment, as well as video contents, are highly expected to contribute to the revitalizing of the nation's economy by creating new markets.
By the year 2010, it is estimated that the DMB industry will create a total of 1.4 trillion won in the domestic market in the service sector and a 1.3 trillion won market related with manufacturing DMB diplayers.
The DMB services, which can be divided into ground-wave and satellite DMBs, will go into service in the first half of this year. In the case of satellite DMB, TU Media of SK Telecom has already been chosen as the service provider and is scheduled to begin broadcasting services on May 1. As a leading partner of a consortium with a capital of 137 billion won, TU Media plans to operate a total of 38 channels that include 14 TV channels and 24 radio channels.
In the case of ground-wave DMB, the service providers for the Seoul metropolitan area will be determined in early March and begin broadcasting in the first half of this year.
While the broadcasting of satellite services will be the second of its kind after Japan, Korea will open the door for the world's first commercial operation of ground-wave DMB broadcasting, thus allowing it to make inroads into both the Chinese and European markets.
As an industry highly anticipated to strengthen the competitive power of the nation after semiconductors and CDMAs, DMB is expected to be a trend-setter of the social and cultural life, bringing about considerable change in the pattern of viewers through the interactive medium.
In the meantime, the Korean Broadcasting Commission recently decided on an overall policy for the selection of ground-wave DMB service providers. The commission will receive applications for a broadcasting license and make final selection of six service providers in early March this year for their operations in the Seoul metropolitan area.
In the manufacturing sector, meanwhile, leading electronics companies such as Samsung, LG Electronics and Perstel are all planning to produce various types of DMB displayers in the first half of this year.
Adoption of Korean standards in the bag
In a recent interview with local media, Yim Chu-hwan, president of Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), stressed that it will be paramount for DMB service providers to access quality contents in order to capture the interest and loyalty of DMB viewers, saying that the services to be delivered by both the satellite and ground-wave are almost identical.
In the meantime, the ground-wave DMB technology developed by ETRI is attracting worldwide attention following its successful trial runs in France, Britain and Brazil. The technology transmits video and audio data based on "Eureka-147", the widely adopted digital and audio broadcasting standard in Europe.
Last year, the World Forum for Digital Audio Broadcasting (World DAB) decided to submit a proposal to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for the adoption of Korean ground-wave DMB as a European standard. In view of the fact that most proposals made by World DAB have been adopted by ETSI, it is regarded by many that the adoption of the Korean technology by ETSI is a foregone conclusion.
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