Wednesday, January 11, 2006

On the ground: DMB rollouts

You may not know what DMB is, but chances are if you are in South Korea, China, Japan or many European countries, the services provided by it will be heavily marketed to you over the next years. DMB stands for Digital Multimedia Broadcasting, and it's a standard way to transmit satellite (S-DMB) or terrestrial (T-DMB) based multimedia signals, such as TV channels, to mobile devices, mainly cell phones. It's a very popular technology in South Korea and is being launched in many other countries this year. Pantech released two new devices this week that take advantages of this service in South Korea, and Samsung is trying to hook up China.

Other than in Asia, Europe is another place where DMB is starting to take shape. Germany is doing tests with the technology. DMB is competing with another standard for Europe and North America adoption, DVB-H, and usually North American carriers like to take completely different routes when they implement new technologies, so it's unlikely that we will see it take hold there. Still, there is an attempt to standardize the world on one standard for the delivery of video broadcasts to cell phones, and even if we end up once again with the US going in a different way, standardization is good for customers.

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