South Korea Creates ATSC 3.0 Testing Facility

SEOUL—South Korea’s Korea Radio Promotion Association (RAPA) has planted an ATSC 3.0 flag on Jeju Island as it will open an ATSC 3.0 testing facility that will be open to international broadcasters, telecoms, broadcast equipment vendors and more in 2020.

Thus far, RAPA has taken steps to set up the testbed on the island, earning approval for an experimental license from the Korean Communications Commission to permit ongoing testing; acquired NextGen TV transmitters and other RF equipment for trials; rolled out some single frequency network sites; and secured a variety of 3.0 consumer receivers.

“We want to offer facilities to enable evaluation of future-oriented service models that can be tested and verified,” said Jay Kangok Jeon, RAPA communications manager.

Back in November 2019, Jeon described this testbed as an “ATSC 3.0 Theme Park” and revealed that mobile telecommunications service providers, three TV broadcasters, consumer electronics companies and South Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute have already utilized it.

As the testing facility looks to expand, including the addition of two more SFN transmitter sites, RAPA is now inviting interested parties from around the world to use its facilities.

“If you are broadcaster—from a U.S. stations group, for example—you are welcome,” Jeon said. “If you are a consumer electronics company, even one that’s not a Korean company, that’s fine. If you are a technology supplier not originally from Korea, the facility is open to you … If you are involved in non-commercial R&D and want to test and verify technology, we want you to use this facility.”

According to RAPA, it’s goal is to offer a world class, open testbed that proves out NextGen TV service models, test interoperability of 3.0 equipment, allows for 3.0 researchers to verify their work and helps the overall 3.0 ecosystem with current and future standards.

RAPA is not charging for the use of the facility on Jeju Island, but all interested parties must pay for their own flights as well as arrange for any broadcast equipment required other than the existing 3.0 transmission equipment.

More information is available at RAPA’s website.

For a comprehensive source of TV Technology’s ATSC 3.0 coverage, see ourATSC3 silo.