Japan Adopts MediaFlo for Mobile DTV

SAN DIEGO, CALIF: MediaFlo has been recognized as one of two official technologies companies can use for mobile DTV in the country. The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications approved the standard for deployment of mobile DTV when necessary spectrum becomes available in 2011 when the country transitions entirely to digital broadcasting. MediaFLO, developed by Qualcomm, is so far the only mobile DTV standard adopted besides ISDB-Tmm, the technology based on Japan’s ISDB-T digital TV standard.

The Ministry last year approved two MediaFLO mobile TV trials in the VHF and UHF spectrum bands led by MediaFLO Japan Planning, a joint venture between Qualcomm and telecom operator KDDI in Okinawa Prefecture, and with Media Scope in Shimane Prefecture. Both trials were said to successfully demonstrate the technology for commercial deployment.

The Okinawa trial marked the first time that MediaFlo had been tested in the VHF spectrum. Toyota joined trails to test the technology for vehicular reception on highways and city streets, “with positive performance results,” MediaFlo said.

The second phase of the Okinawa trial started this month with “a mix of short- and long-format video content, music, clipcasting media and datacasting applications,” the company said.

The ongoing Shimane trial is linear mobile TV as well as first-time delivery of clipcast media to large digital signage from Samsung. The trial is being conducted on UHF Channel 62 in shops, office parks, the Matsue Campus of Shimane University and nearby malls.

“The official selection of MediaFLO technology in Japan is significant in Latin America as well, where a growing number of countries have selected Japan’s ISDB-T technology as their DTV standard, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Venezuela,” said Flavio Mansi, senior vice president and president of Qualcomm Latin America. “We view MediaFLO and ISDB-T technologies as complementary and believe the standards will coexist in a given market to drive both consumer acceptance and revenue generation for mobile TV services.”

Qualcomm’s most recent move in the United States with regard to MediaFlo is the release of a receiver dedicated to its proprietary FLO TV network. The handheld device was rolled out for the holidays and will compete with MediaFlo-delivered video products offered by Verizon and AT&T.

(In-car image by Yining Zhang)

More on MediaFlo:
October 7, 2009: “Qualcomm Rolls Out Handheld Flo TV”
The wireless telecom company created the device specifically to work with its own mobile video service, FLO TV, based on its MediaFLO transmission standard.

September 24, 2009: “FLO TV Device Spotted”
Techie sites across the innertubes are reporting a spotting of Qualcomm’s new dedicated mobile TV device.

August 26, 2009: “FLO TV Mobile Device”
Tech blog maestro Peter Rojas set the tubes on fire today with a breaking story about a new portable DTV from Qualcomm.

June 12, 2009: “Analog Broadcasting Ends”
Qualcomm, another carrier with a proprietary advanced wireless broadband technology, already announced its plan to expand into 39 new markets immediately following the transition. The expansion will put FLO in 100 major markets by the end of this year.

April 3, 2009: “FLO TV Expands Coverage”
Qualcomm’s FLO TV Announced it had expanded coverage in 16 markets...

February 13, 2009: “Internet Radios Gain Ground”
Audiovox and Qualcomm’s MediaFLO plan to deliver 20 channels of live video into the car using an add-on device from Audiovox that links to an existing car video screen; the Audiovox device is expected to retail at around $500.