Sunday, February 26, 2006

T-DMB takes off in Korea

The Korea Times on February 12 reported that terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting (T-DMB) is becoming not only the industrial standard for mobile TV service but also part of daily life for South Koreans.

Kim Yong-jin, store manager of LK Electronics, a mobile phone retailer at Yongsan electronics market in Seoul said that about 50 percent of handsets sold in the area are DMB phones. Kim was also quoted as saying that T-DMB is much more popular than its competitor satellite DMB (S-DMB), because the former is free of charge while the latter is 13,000 won per month. Also, T-DMB provides live TV content from three major broadcasters - KBS, MBC and SBS - free of charge, which is not available on S-DMB.

So far, there are 20 channels available on T-DMB - 13 audio stations and 7 video channels including the three major TV stations KBS, MBC and SBS. The DMB channels are currently composed of live broadcasting and reruns of sports, soap operas, entertainment programs of the three existing terrestrial TV stations. But more DMB-tailored services are expected to be available this year as the content sellers rate this market highly.

T-DMB began its service last month in Seoul and the nearby Kyonggi Province, a world first, and it will become available in the subway from summer if all goes to plan.

Two mobile service operators LG Telecom and KTF also say that the TV-on-move phone sales are rising at an impressive rate. Daily sales of the T-DMB handsets have increased from around 300 per day in early January to around 700 in late January for both companies.

Full article - http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=38998

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