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Japan appoints sole operator for mobile media

Multimedia Broadcasting Inc, a joint venture between a number of Japanese broadcasters and other telecoms and media owners, has been commissioned as the sole carriage operator for national multimedia mobile broadcasts using the ISDB-Tmm standard.

Broadcasts are scheduled to start following the end of analogue broadcasting in Japan, which is set for next July, when capacity for mobile TV will be freed up by switching off the analogue frequencies.

Multimedia Broadcasting Inc and other members of the ISDB-T Multimedia Forum have been engaged in “a wide range of activities” targeted at commercial broadcasting services starting in the spring of 2012.

Shareholders of Multimedia Broadcasting Inc are: NTT Docomo, Fuji Television Network, Nippon Broadcasting System, Itochu Corp, Sky Perfect JSAT, Nippon Television Network, TV Asahai, Tokyo Broadcasting System Holdings, Dentsu Inc and Sumitomo Corp.

The win for Multimedia Broadcasting is a direct result of active efforts by the ISDB-T Multimedia Forum, a group of about 80 companies organized to promote the ISDB-Tmm standard.

ISDB-Tmm employs the concatenated transmission method which, combining some blocks of the 13-segment (5.6MHz) band and the 1-segment (0.4MHz) band, eliminates the need of a guard band, making it possible to apply it to various bandwidths. As a concatenated transmitter for the 33-segment (14.2MHz) band has been developed, transmission costs will be cut down by a significant margin. Capable of adapting to bandwidths used by the carriage operator, the ISDB-Tmm standard can also be adapted to 7MHz and 8MHz spectrum allocation.

The ISDB-Tmm standard has a high degree of compatibility with the ISDB-T format, making it possible to share the same receivers for different broadcasting services and cut down on transmission costs. Japan is hoping that the Latin American countries and other nations which have adopted the ISDB-T terrestrial digital broadcasting system will also use ISDB-Tmm.

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