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Qualcomm wants to enter broadcast arena

  PLAY AUDIO

Oct 17,2004
Qualcomm is showing interest in collaborating with domestic broadcasting companies to offer broadcasting services through cellular phones. The San Diego, California-based cellular phone chipmaker announced last week in Korea that it hopes to advance in the local digital media broadcasting market. Vice president Rob Chandhok said on Friday that Qualcomm had been developing a new cellular phone broadcasting technology called Media FLO for two years and would soon be ready to enter commercialization. “We will soon present a new technology that supports mobile broadcasting at low electricity but high output,” Mr. Chandhok said. The technology he presented was similar to digital media broadcasting, or DMB, and DVB-H, which are current mobile broadcasting standards set in Korea. Qualcomm’s technology, however, is different from satellite or terrestrial DMB in that it does not require a separate broadcasting frequency, Mr. Chandhok said. To enable this service, a separate chip must be inserted in the mobile handset. “I cannot say how this technology will be linked to commercial service, but recent contacts with broadcasting companies such as KBS and MBC will soon lead to visible results,” he added. On Wednesday, Qualcomm officials met with broadcasting industry members and held the first forum on Media FLO. Initiated by KBS, the event was attended by major broadcasting companies MBC and SBS, as well as mobile service providers KT, KTF and LG Telecom. The communications industry is worried about the implementation of Qualcomm’s technology. “Current broadcasting laws provide no room for Qualcomm’s Media FLO technology to enter, but if it is decided as a standard for mobile broadcasting, Korea will be burdened again with royalties ― as it was when it adapted Qualcomm’s technology when developing CDMA technology for cell phone standards,” said an official at TU Media. TU Media is a consortium led by SK Telecom that will control digital mobile broadcasting in Korea. It has been ready to launch mobile broadcasting service here, but has been delayed because of conflicts between local networks and major broadcasting companies. by Wohn Dong-hee, Yoon Chang-hee


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