SAN DIEGO, USA: Qualcomm Inc. announced that Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has recognized MediaFLO technology as one of two official technologies for nationwide mobile multimedia broadcasting services in Japan.
This milestone signifies that MediaFLO-enabled mobile TV services may be deployed in Japan once spectrum is made available in 2011. The only other mobile broadcast technology recognized by the MIC for this purpose is ISDB-Tmm, an evolution of Japan's digital TV (DTV) standard, ISDB-T.
"Working closely with local companies, we have taken a significant step toward expanding the diversity of broadcast-quality mobile content and value-added mobile services available to Japanese consumers," said Neville Meijers, senior vice president and general manager, FLO International.
"The MediaFLO platform offers a rich user experience, high channel capacity and an open services layer to support a wide range of mobile broadcast services, making it an ideal platform to complement 3G services and the country's ISDB-T standard for free mobile TV programming."
Last year, the MIC approved two MediaFLO mobile TV trials in the VHF and UHF spectrum bands led by MediaFLO Japan Planning Inc. (MJP) - a joint venture between Qualcomm and KDDI - in Okinawa Prefecture, and by Media Scope Inc. in Shimane Prefecture. Both trials have successfully shown the technical and business advantages that the MediaFLO platform provides and clear the path for commercial deployment.
The Okinawa trial marked the first time that MediaFLO technology has been trialed using VHF spectrum. Toyota Motor Corporation subsequently joined the MJP trial to test vehicular reception of MediaFLO signals on the highway and city streets, with positive performance results. The second phase of the Okinawa trial began this month using a mix of short- and long-format video content, music, clipcasting media and datacasting applications.
The ongoing Shimane trial employs a variety of MediaFLO services that include linear mobile TV and, for the first time, broadcast delivery of clipcasting media to large digital signage made by Samsung Japan. The trial illustrates how MediaFLO technology can be utilized for broadcast delivery of advertising, news and information services to the public at large. The trial is being conducted on UHF Channel 62 in shops, office parks, the Matsue Campus of Shimane University and nearby malls.
"The official selection of MediaFLO technology in Japan is significant in Latin America as well, where a growing number of countries have selected Japan's ISDB-T technology as their DTV standard, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Venezuela," said Flavio Mansi, senior vice president and president of Qualcomm Latin America.
"We view MediaFLO and ISDB-T technologies as complementary and believe the standards will coexist in a given market to drive both consumer acceptance and revenue generation for mobile TV services."
MediaFLO and ISDB-T technologies have been successfully tested on multi-mode mobile devices in Japan and Latin America. In countries where ISDB-T is being deployed as the terrestrial free-to-air (FTA) standard, MediaFLO technology can be implemented in multi-mode devices for the broadcast delivery of both premium content and value-added mobile media services. Qualcomm enables multi-mode devices based on MediaFLO, ISDB-T and DVB-H mobile broadcast technologies through its Universal Broadcast Modem (UBM) chipset.
MediaFLO is a broadcast mobile TV platform for the delivery of high-quality entertainment and information, including streaming video and audio, clipcasting media, IP datacasting and interactive services. MediaFLO is an open, globally recognized technology standardized by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and recommended by ITU-R for the broadcasting of multimedia and data applications.
Invented for mobility, MediaFLO is designed to increase capacity and coverage, as well as reduce costs for multimedia content delivery to mobile devices.