Friday, November 10, 2006

Digital Vendors | PRC | RadioScape Mobile TV Scores Big in China

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News Asia (DBVNA) Q & A with Phil Smith, RadioScape's Senior VP Sales and Operations following its opening earlier this year of an office in Hong Kong (its first outside of the UK) as a regional base.

(DBVNA) - Why choose Hong Kong as your Asia Pacific regional base, say in comparison to Singapore, or Sydney?

(Phil Smith) - Hong Kong is the logical choice for a number of reasons. · It is close to the companies who make the modules for us in China · It is close to our customers who build the modules into DAB radios · Hong Kong has a ready supply of high qualified, highly motivated engineers · Hong Kong has a very pro-business environment

(DBVNA) - If PRC is a target market, why not set up in China proper?

(Phil Smith) - Hong Kong is only an hour by train from our customers and suppliers. Hong Kong is well established as a gateway to China.

(DBVNA) - Currently Mobile TV is a hot topic as are the DVB-H and T- DMB segments with trials taking place across the region. How do you see the industry take up of these choices and why?

(Phil Smith) - Lack of frequencies will delay the take up of DVB-H is some countries but it has some major companies supporting it. T-DMB uses readily available DAB frequencies and so provides a solution now. We believe that in a few years receivers will be able to receive both DVB-H and T-DMB so that the user can freely roam from country to country. To this end, we using our well established software defined design skills to create such as solution.

(DBVNA) - Tell us more about the priority in R&D you are undertaking.

(Phil Smith) - Our priority is to develop software defined Mobile TV solutions that will be able to receive both DVB-H, DAB-IP and T-DMB. This is the focus of our new Development Centre in Hong Kong.

(DBVNA) - You refer to local "sourcing" what is the significance of that. You are not unique in this regard?

(Phil Smith) - Because our modules have the ability to be easily customised to suit the specific requirements of customers, it is vital that we keep our fingers closely on the pulse of the sources and production operations.

(DBVNA) - Where do you see your main market competition coming from?

(Phil Smith) - We are unique in that we provide solutions for both digital radio and Mobile TV broadcasting as well as receiver technology. This gives us unparalleled systems knowledge in house that our competitors in either segment cannot match.

(DBVNA) - Which Asia-Pacific markets do you consider will move ahead quickest bearing in mind that Korea and Japan seem to have a head start.

(Phil Smith) - China is a rapidly growing market for Mobile TV – the 12th installation was launched in September by Beijing Radio Stations and its affiliated company, Beijing Jolon Media Broadcasting Co., Ltd. with full digital multi-media broadcasting services powered by RadioScape’s Professional Broadcast System. This provides digital audio and video programs for mobile devices such as cellular phones, PDAs, and MP4s (advanced video players). The station has been offering DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) from April 2006 and now adds multimedia information on government affairs, daily life, the city and real-time traffic news and weather.

(DBVNA) - Of all of your product sales what percentage comes from Asia-Pacific.

(Phil Smith) - As virtually all the manufacturers of digital radios are in the Asia Pacific region, the percentage is naturally very high. When it comes to broadcasting systems, we sell these around the world.

(DBVNA) - How does a company like yours cut across the choices of system (i.e. recommendations to clients) as you work in both DVB and DMB? In fact is there a lot of confusion in the current marketplace on choice of which system best suited to be a new source of income generation for your clients.

(Phil Smith) - By working on offering our customers a software- defined solution that enables them to provide customers with receivers that can be used with all the different systems.

(DVBNA) - Thank you Mr Smith.

(DBVNA) - As a post script, RadioScape says that the China broadcasters want to have systems in place and working for the 2008 Olympic Games and the company has been working closely with them for the past three years to achieve this. To date, RadioScape says it has thirteen installations up and running in China covering all the major conurbations.

Radioscape says that the success of Mobile TV in China is, in part, due to the adoption of Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) as a delivery technology. This uses the well-proven, Eureka 147 Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) standard with additional forward error correction to ensure robust video reception in both fixed and mobile environments. One of key advantages of DMB is that the required spectrum is already available in many countries unlike other systems that have spectrum allocation issues that may take several years to resolve. This technology enables both digital audio and Mobile TV to be received on the same mobile device, which has proved a very popular feature according to users in trials.

Note about RadioScape

London-based, RadioScape Plc is the world’s only developer of end-to- end digital audio broadcasting solutions giving RadioScape unmatched systems knowledge and enabling it to ensure that customers receive the highest levels of quality, robustness and reception at all stages.

Its Digital Radio Broadcast Suite is used extensively throughout the world including the largest DAB installation to date -- the UK’s commercial DAB network. This is also being used to roll out Mobile TV services using Digital Multimedia Broadcasting in many countries, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, particularly China.

RadioScape’s innovative Software Defined Digital Radio approach has made it a leader in DAB and DMB technology with its DAB receiver modules being extensively used by many of the world’s leading consumer electronics manufacturers. The company has recently begun shipping its first generation of DRM/DAB modules, enabling multi- standard consumer receivers to reach retail this year.

The company is privately held.

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