Gives high rating to viability of ground wave DMB market
|Yim Chu-hwan , ETRI president|
Earlier this year, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) said it would focus on terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) and mobile Internet as its main subjects of research for this year and 2006. The Korea IT Times is pleased to carry the following interview with ETRI president Yim Chu-hwan on his organization's developments in the field of digital mobile broadcasting.
Demonstrations of Digital Multimedia Broadcasting were recently held overseas on numerous occasions. What were local responses like on each of those occasions
Under the aegis of ETRI, companies in the DMB field such as Samsung and LG held public demonstrations several times in Germany, the Netherlands, China, Brazil, Britain and France, to mention just a few locations.
The overall response of local invitees to the demonstrations was that they were surprised Korea had developed such an advanced technology! Furthermore, they were even more surprised by the fact that Korea has reached the phase of DMB commercialization and generally were full of praise for this development.
Moreover, such exhibitions have also served to re-invigorate the promotion of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), a medium whose business prospects are losing steam in Europe. In this respect, I believe that now is the time to promote DMB even further so that it becomes a technology to be enjoyed not only by the Korean people but also by the peoples of the world.
Korea is the first country to have developed terrestrial DMB technology. What is your assessment of this technological development
It is no exaggeration to say that ground wave DMB is the world's only mobile broadcasting service that can be commercialized almost immediately. Also, as there is more interest overseas in broadcasting than in the Internet, it is of advantage to Korea to develop associated technologies and play a leading role in creating global standards in the field of broadcasting.
How would you rate the business prospects of the national IT industry
Until now, Korea has been a market that IT-related manufacturers around the world consider "a must" to be here. From now on, however, Korea is more likely to be a powerhouse of IT technologies. As the advent of the 'ubiquitous era' will create greater demand for more and varied technologies and services, there will be many opportunities for the local IT industry to expand its position in world markets.
When can everyone in South Korea, including those in remote, mountainous regions, enjoy DMB services
In addition to satellite DMB already in trial service, the terrestrial broadcasting will be launched in Seoul in the latter half of this year following the selection of DMB operators in March. Also, similar services will be offered to other provincial regions next year.
In order to cover remote islands and mountainous areas, gap fillers must be installed. At present, discussions in this regard have been taking place between mobile telecom companies and DMB operators. I believe that when all such preparations have been completed, DMB services should probably be received in these regions by some time in the middle of next year.
What are ETRI's business goals for this year
This year, we will take a leading role in the national drive towards achieving a per capita income of $20,000 by supporting progress in all of the new growth engines of the IT sector, together with the commercialization of ground wave DMB.
Ground wave DMB and WiBro, the portable Internet, will be the technologies that will be the new standard bearers of the national economy since Korea's commercialization of CDMA technology a decade ago. This year, we will concentrate on DMB and on WiBro next year.
As ground wave DMB allows mobile reception of digital TV and WiBro allows mobile access to the Internet, these fall into areas where Korea can take a leading role in terms of technology and in standardization at the global level.
Accordingly, the successful commercial operation of mobile television services will extend Korea's technological innovative capability in telecommunications into next-generation technologies defined by the convergence of telecommunications media, broadcasting and computing technologies.
What are ETRI's goals for the future
CDMA, which was put into commercial operation in 1996, is a technology that ETRI began developing a decade before its launch. By this token, it behooves us as the foremost research arm of the government to take a leading role in long-term IT projects. ETRI's opening of its new IT Technology Transfer Evaluation Center in October last year was a move in this respect.
We have set a goal for the technology center to transfer over 1,000 technologies to 1,600 companies by 2007 and support the development of some 30 technologies for their eventual commercialization.
How do you rate the marketability of ground wave DMB
In the past, IT services whose business prospects were not well substantiated turned out to be some of the most successful. We believe that the ground wave DMB market is completely viable since it is based on a technology that makes perfect economic sense and features superior radio wave efficiency.
Do you have any suggestions on the direction that government policy should take toward the venture sector
Investment in venture firms should be made selectively. Instead of indiscriminate investment and support, the government should provide assistance that is appropriate to venture firms on a case-by-case basis carefully assessing those with the best grasp in areas such as financial capability, marketing and technology.
저작권자 © Korea IT Times 무단전재 및 재배포 금지