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DMB standards approved

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The European Telecommunications Standard Institute ETSI has approved the DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) standards for the delivery of multimedia content and services "on the move". France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the UK are all preparing to conduct DMB trials to enable the integration of audio, data and video.

DMB has its roots in DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), a standard that has considerable success in the UK, but less so on continental Europe. However, a DAB network is already available to 80 per cent of Europeans and there are more than 800 DAB services reaching 475 million people in 40 countries.

South Korea will offer free terrestrial DMB broadcasting services to handheld devices across the country from next year after testing later this year in Seoul and the surrounding Kyonggi Province. The Ministry of Information and Communication has issued five mobile broadcast licenses earlier this month, according to the Korean Times. As most frequencies are already occupied by other services, not all five broadcasters will be able to start at the same time.

That hasn’t stopped manufacturers LG Electronics, Samsung and Perstel from developing DMB enabled devices, including mobile phones. On Monday, Samsung Electronics announced the release of its new satellite Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) phone (SCH-B200/SPH-B2000). Users can receive a call or send SMS messages while watching satellite DMB. SK Telecom, Korea's primary wireless provider, said on Monday that its satellite DMB business will reach breakeven in 2008 or in 2009.

In Germany, the Bavarian Media Authority will launch a pilot Digital Advanced Broadcasting in Regensburg, which is expected to last for two years. DMB will also be used for the coverage of FIFA World Cup 2006 via mobile devices.

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