Thailand will test a commercial mobile TV service next month following a memorandum of understanding between government-backed broadcaster MCOT and mobile handset provider International Engineering Plc (IEC).
While MCOT has been testing DVB-H technology since 2007, the deal will see a commercial pilot launched in Thailand for the first time.
It will reportedly cost around Baht100 million to set up, reports MCOT’s own website and is targeting 100,000 users in its first year.
Six channels, some in high-definition, will be offered initially for no fee but MCOT plans to charge for new channels in the future, with 14 available in total to the service. MCOT will produce all of the service’s programming itself. The broadcaster operates one television station, Modernine TV (formerly Channel 9) and MCOT Satellite TV.
Covering Bangkok and its environs, the service will use the existing UHF-58 channel for mobile users.
Said Tanawat Wansom, MCOT president: "In Korea, more than one million users opt for digital mobile TV. In Thailand, it's expected there will be about 100,000 users of this service in the first year out of a population of about 65 million."
Sunjutha Witchawut, IEC executive chairman and CEO, added: “IEC is an expert in communication technology, which will help facilitate the digital mobile TV project. We will also collaborate with MCOT and its allies in developing programmes' content and in production, as well as selecting domestic and foreign edutainment shows to meet the various demands of our target groups.”