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Mobile TV, the next big thing for Asia

Posted: 05 Jan 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:market? outlook? business? growth? trend?

Sethill: mobile TV utilizing T-DMB will be a significant driver in the mobile phone industry, providing major new business opportunities for content providers and broadcasters.

The mobile phone industry has been speculating for some time about the next killer application that will drive handset and revenue growth. We believe that digital multimedia broadcasting is the answer, especially in the regions of Asia where trials have already begun and broadcasters, device manufacturers and chip suppliers are in advanced stages of rolling out equipment to meet this exciting new demand.

In particular, we believe mobile TV utilizing terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting (T-DMB) will be a significant driver in this market, providing major new business opportunities for content providers and broadcasters. The standard has already been approved for use by the government in South Korea, where services will be rolled out in Seoul this year, and then the rest of Korea in 2006. Other countries considering adopting this terrestrial broadcasting standard for mobile TV include China.

This transmission technology is a mobile DTV standard using the Eureka 147 DAB technology as the broadcast channel to deliver TV, audio, video and data to mobile devices, enabling consumers to choose from multiple channels of DTV and then view it on their mobile phones, PDAs or in cars. The infrastructure for Eureka 147 has already had significant success and is being rolled out in EuropeUK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland and Scandinavia. In Europe, the standard has been used for digital audio broadcasting (DAB digital radio) services, but the technology for mobile TV using T-DMB is based on this same basic infrastructure.

The technology for DAB is ideally suited to mobile TV because it was originally designed to enable robust reception in the challenging mobile environment while keeping power consumption to the minimum. Samsung is one of several manufacturers we have been working with to deliver products based on the T-DMB standard for the roll out of mobile TV in Korea this year. Typically the handset will utilize a SoC module incorporating a baseband processor that supports demodulation and decoding of broadcast multimedia data at the full data rate required by the T-DMB specification (> 1.5Mbps). Low-power consumption is necessary for the mobile handset, and high sensitivity is an important characteristic to enable truly portable T-DMB devices.

Asian manufacturers already have considerable experience in delivering products based on Eureka 147 as they are producing the majority of the million plus DAB digital radios available to consumers in the UK and other regions where DAB is broadcast. This background gives them a head start in quickly rolling out products to meet the demands of consumers in Korea for the new mobile TV services. Our experience in working with these manufacturers over the last two years tells us that this, combined with the Asian passion for technology, is what will ensure that mobile TV is successful in the region.

- Anthony Sethill
Chief Executive Officer
Frontier Silicon Ltd

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