KDDI is planning a MediaFLO service, while NTT DOCoMo wants to use the Japanese standard ISDB-Tmm (terrestrial mobile multimedia).
The former has established a new company, MediaFLO Broadcast Planning, for its planned service. Small stakes (KDDI owns 82%) are also held by broadcasters TV Asahi Corp and Space Shower Network, as well as advertising companies ADK, Dentsu and Hakuhodo. KDDI has been working with Qualcomm on local implementation of the MediaFLO technology since 2005.
The company is examining new content services and business models that maximize the characteristics of the broadcasting infrastructure not only for mobile phones but also for digital book readers, tablet PCs and car navigation systems, areas of expected future growth.
KDDI and MediaFLO Broadcast Planning said they aim to pursue consultations with content providers and CE equipment manufacturers over the planned offering.
Meanwhile, DoCoMo has the Multimedia Broadcasting Inc venture which was established in January 2009. It is capitalised at ¥840 million (US$10 million) and shareholders include satellite-TV platform operator Sky Perfect JSAT, Nippon TV, Fuji TV.
Among features of the service would be the use of a "file casting" service as well as a streamed offering. "File casting" would enable content to be automatically stored on users' phones for later viewing.
The government could choose the winner imminently.