Mobile satellite broadcasting to start in Japan

Mobile satellite broadcasting to start in Japan

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A digital satellite broadcasting service to send clear sounds and images to specially designed mobile phones and car navigation systems will begin concurrently in Japan and South Korea next spring as the first of its kind in the world, according to industry officials.

On Friday, the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications issued a preliminary license to Tokyo-based Mobile Broadcasting Corp. to launch the service, they said.

Mobile Broadcasting, whose shareholders include Toshiba Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Nippon Television Network Corp., plans to launch a satellite in October and begin full services around next March, according to the officials.

Major South Korean mobile phone company SK Telecom, which has a stake in Mobile Broadcasting, is scheduled to set up a new company this fall to share the broadcasting service and satellite with Mobile Broadcasting to cut costs.

Reception of satellite digital broadcasting is possible nationwide and images are hardly distorted even within moving cars, they said.

Mobile device users will also be able to receive weather forecasts.

As the service will use a frequency for high-powered broadcasts, the new service will not require a parabolic antenna as in the case of conventional satellite broadcasts. Personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones will be able to pick it up, they said.

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