China to show Olympics on mobile telly

Roll on 2007, rollout 2008
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Roll on 2007, rollout 2008

Despite the fact 3G licences are yet to be distributed in the country, China is reportedly preparing to launch mobile TV in time for the 2008 Olympics.

A spokesman for China's State Administration for Radio, Film and Television was quoted in press reports saying the country will be using the DMB (digital multimedia broadcasting) standard for its mobile telly rollout.

Trials are expected to begin in 2007 in preparation for the Beijing Olympics the following year. According to local paper The China Daily, the country's largest two operators China Mobile and China Unicom are working on deals for phones that are compatible with the technology.

DMB is already being used in South Korea, where mobile TV is established, and is soon to get a look in in the UK. BT's wholesale broadcast TV service for phones, Movio, will also use the standard and is expected to roll out in the coming months.

DMB has been popular with 'first movers' in mobile TV as the infrastructure is cheaper than that for comparable standards. However, BT has already indicated it has not ruled out the possibility of swapping out its equipment to offer TV over rival standards DVB-H. DVB-H (digital video broadcasting) is being championed by the likes of Nokia and O2 but some industry watchers question its immediate future in light of regulatory and spectrum issues that still overshadow it.

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