Korea IT Times
Magazine (January 2005/Vol.7) > Covery Story
Part1 : DMB & WiBro to Lead Next-Generation Industry in Korea
Yim Chu-hwan, President of the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI)
ETRI Plays a Leading Role in Spread of DMB
Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) and WiBro (Portable Internet) business will boost our hope of attaining a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of $20,000, Yim Chu-hwan, president of the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), said in a special interview with the Korea IT Times, adding that the hottest issue of the IT industry in 2005 seems to be the DMB business.
Noting that Korea has been active in initiating world standards, Mr. Yim pointed out that the government should make the necessary marketing efforts to convince other countries including advanced nations or underdeveloped countries to adopt them.
By doing so, he emphasized that this was the way to export DMB or WiBro terminals or services. In conjunction with this, ETRI has engaged in technological development since 2002 in anticipation of the fact that a mobile TV will emerge as a core service. Along with its R&D efforts, ETRI has been promoting efforts at toward international standardization of DMB services at international trial performances, Mr. Yim said.
As a result, he said that Korean DMB technology has been adopted as the European standards. This means that domestic DMB equipment as well as service companies will be well positioned to make inroads into the world DMB market.
In addition, Korea's DMB international trial performance group has successfully held demonstrations in China, Brazil, Britain, and France, after starting in Bayern, Germany, the site of the 2006 World Cup, in October 2003.
Yim stressed that in 2005 ETRI will also make every effort toward completion of DMB service technology. He said ETRI will take the initiative in promoting the Korean DMB paradigm in world markets. At the same time, ETRI plans to promote its international standardization activities more aggressively with a view to positioning Korean DMB as a global rather than simply a European-affiliated type of technology.
In the following interview with the Korea IT Times, Yim Chu-hwan, president of ETRI, explains ETRI's leading role in preparing for the launch of Digital Multimedia Broadcasting.
Q: First, please explain the concept of DMB.
A: In a word, DMB is a mobile broadcasting receiver that enables the user to see and hear TV broadcasting while moving or traveling.
Moreover, WiBro, to begin in 2006, is a type of portable Internet. Accordingly, a MDB user will be able to use Internet while on then move.
Q: What is ETRI's role in relation to DMB and what sort of hardware as well as services will be developed by ETRI?
A: Above all, ETRI won's spare any effort in the form of technical support to enable DMB services to be commercialized as early as possible. Just about everyone in the world is used to mobile communications. Once TV broadcasting becomes available in a mobile format, the response from the market will be explosive!
The number of DMB subscribers at home is expected to grow rapidly with a yearly rise of 191 percent, while the total number of subscribers forecast to surge from 400,000 in 2005 to over 10 million in 2010. Overall, the outlook seems very positive.
To date, DMB technology is being developed as an Audio & Video (AV) medium, with strong emphasis on the faithful recreation of voice and image. Having an eye on the fact that DMB technology also is a digital technology, ETRI has already embarked on an R&D program to make an all-round information service available by uniting state-of-the-art IT technologies.
Q: What kind of impact do you think DMB will have on industry and society in general?
A: Once DMB succeeds in making its way into the European market, its market will expand greatly with the 2006 FIFA Germany World Cup providing the momentum. Once it catches on in Germany it will just be a matter of time before the same happens in the surrounding countries of Britain, Italy and Switzerland. We envisage something similar happening in China once the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics gets underway.
With this kind of impetus from the opening of the European and Chinese markets, the world DMB terminal market is forecast to expand by 137 percent per annum to $3 billion by 2012.
The spread of DMB technology will lead to the exports of terminals, application solutions as well as contents. Accordingly, its economic ripple effect is unlikely to be small as the diffusion of DMB technology is expected to enhance Korea's relative importance in the world communication and broadcasting fusion market. Once DMB service is commercialized, it will improve convenience and quality of life for many since people will be able to access broadcasting service irrespective of location.
Q: What will be the effects of its advance into overseas markets?
A: To obtain the most desirable results, the industry as well as the government should embark upon an aggressive marketing effort to persuade other countries to adopt Korean standardization.
In this regard, we understand that President Roh Moo-hyun and Minister Chin Dae-je of the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) have made many efforts to convince foreign countries to adopt DMB as their broadcasting mode during their overseas visits.
Now that DMB broadcasting equipment is cheaper than current equipment, developing countries will be able to cut down on expenses sharply. In the years ahead, DMB will be the broadcasting mode of choice for audiences of sporting events.
Q: How do you rate the prospects of the domestic DMB market?
A: I think that DMB catch on once full-scale broadcasting commences during the first half of the year.
It is important to create a climate whereby foreign governments will feel comfortable using this standardization, and here obviously is a role for diplomacy by the Korean government. DMB and WiBro will be the two greatest sources of wealth in the not-to-distant future.
Q: What are major business projects for ETRI in 2005?
A: In 2005, the core of ETRI's research and management activities will be the 'nine IT new growth engines' project designed to boost the value added of the IT industry. They include next-generation mobile telecommunications, digital TV/broadcasting, home networks, IT SoC, embedded S/W, S/W solutions as well as digital content, next-generation PCs, and telematics To make a total of 11 are an additional two: Backbone Concentrator Node (BcN) routers and Ubiquitous-Sensor Networks (USN).
These are new fields of technology through which Korea aims to achieve its goal of a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of $20,000.
DMB and WiBro technologies that have succeeded in their trial performances, and are the fruit of the research that developed the 'nine IT new growth projects.'