My wife and I just recently traded in our Kia Sportage and purchased a new Hyundai Tucson. In the process, we chose several options, including the built-in navigation system. The navigation options on the system are quite nice and highly programmable. In addition, the system includes a DVD player, FM, and DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting), among other things. One day, a couple of weekends ago, I was checking out the system and when I pressed the DMB button on the left of the console and found myself watching a Korean drama via terrestrial DMB, it occurred to me what a convenient and natural option this was. I imagined being caught in traffic, arriving at an appointment or simply being out in the mountains on a Fall afternoon, when it might be nice to watch a bit of television. I also thought of the fact that most countries in the world don't yet enjoy the convenience of free DMB television, so this is an update on two earlier posts (the first here and the second here.) Several things are happening in the DMB industry.
First, according to reports in Korea's electronics newspaper (전자신문), several of the terrestrial DMB broadcasting companies are starting to specialize, in an effort to attract a more targeted audience, and advertisers. For example, U1 is specializing in online and offline sports, and Korea DMB was changing its name and plans a focus on the economy.
Second, also according to the Electronics Newspaper, three big mobile carriers in Korea are experimenting with two-way data broadcasting services using DMB. Using such services, users can do search, shopping or communications while watching DMB programming. This is similar to the sort of services that are incorporated in the IPTV offerings for which more than one million Koreans have subscribed to date.
Second, the export market for Korea's DMB technology, although in its infance, is still alive. The technology is being used in such nations as Germany, China, Ghana, and France.
Like wireless broadband (WiBro), Korea's DMB technology faces competitors in the global market. However, there may well be an important market niche for Korean technology. This is a sector to watch closely.