Samsung plans to launch a new service and handset in South Korea that allows customers to receive up to 40 television channels on a mobile phone. The launch of both the service and the handset, called the Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) phone, is set for the third quarter of this year.
Several phone manufacturers already sell handsets that can receive and send personal video and TV broadcasts over a cellular network. However, with traditional methods, high cost is a major problem.
Carriers offering DMB service will likely charge a more affordable flat rate for it, Sauk-Hun Song, a principal analyst at research company Gartner, said, adding that SK Telecom, a local carrier, is expected to launch a DMB satellite soon.
Samsung came out with a phone last year that can receive TV signals from terrestrial stations, but typical over-the-air broadcast transmission limits the range and scope of programming.
The company is concentrating on three types of high-end phones: multimedia phones that can serve as mini-entertainment centers, phones that can double as PDAs, and “PDA lite” phones that contain PDA-like features.