TV: coming to a mobile near you

Dutch test telly on-the-go

Dutch digital television (DVB-T) operator Digitenne and Nokia are testing TV signals on mobile handsets, according to a Dutch industry journal. Nokia phones equipped with a TV receiver are currently tested by research institute TNO Telecom, which wouldn't comment on the experiments. Commercial applications are not expected until 2007, reports say.

Digitenne is a joint venture of Dutch broadcasters, telecom operator KPN and NOB, a Dutch broadcasting facilitator. The company is offering a mix of public and commercial channels and a number of international themed channels in the western part of the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Japan Broadcasting Corp and five private-sector broadcasters from Japan will start services of terrestrial digital broadcasting for cellular phones in fiscal year 2005. Because makers will use low-temperature co-fired ceramics, the tuners can become as thin as 1.4mm.

Last week KDDI R&D Laboratories and KDDI Corp already showed a mobile phone terminal that receives digital terrestrial TV broadcasting. A broadcasting reception function is automatically initiated from a communications center, therefore emergency warning broadcasts can be displayed on the screens of cellular phones.

Korean manufacturer Samsung also plans to release a phone that can receive satellite TV signals. The new service, Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB), is expected to be avalaible in South Korea in Q3.

A couple of phone manufacturers in South Korea already sell handsets that can receive and send personal video and TV broadcasts over the cellular network, but programming is currently just too expensive. By launching a DMB satellite SK Telecom is expected to introduce flat fee services to mobile phones.

High-tech market research firm In-Stat/MDR reports that, with a number of limited deployments already underway in the US, market launches in the mobile TV arena will accelerate in late 2004 and throughout 2005. By 2009, mobile video services are expected to generate $5.4bn in annual revenues. By 2009, 22.3m Americans will be viewers of mobile video content, and 31.1m will use video messaging services. ®

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