SK Telecom, ONE Media, Sinclair Sign MoU on ATSC 3.0 Platform

At CES, the companies agreed to develop NG TV, or Next Generation TV, before July
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At CES, the companies agreed to develop NG TV, or Next Generation TV, before July

LAS VEGAS—South Korean wireless telecom company SK Telecom, Sinclair Broadcast Group and its subsidiary ONE Media this week signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the 2018 CES in Las Vegas to create an overarching wireless network architecture based on ATSC 3.0 and deploy a proof of concept before July.

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“Working with Sinclair, SK Telecom’s media technology is now aiming to bring innovation to the global broadcast industry and create new growth engine,” Park Jung-ho, CEO and president of SK Telecom said.

Called the NG TV platform—NG for Next Generation—the network architecture will play a critical role in enabling a hybrid wireless environment that taps broadcast and wireless broadband resources to “drive richness, interactivity and total synchronicity” of content across consumer devices, said Mark Aitken, Sinclair VP of Advanced Technology.

NG TV will deliver UHD-quality content, customized IP-based interactive services, personalized and location-based advertising, fixed and mobile broadcast service and emergency alerting, according to an SK Telecom press release announcing the MoU.

While SK Telecom was attracted to Sinclair and ONE Media for the role they have played in developing the ATSC 3.0 standard and associated, new broadcast business models, Sinclair was attracted to SK Telecom because of the experience it has gained developing MPEG Media Transport (MMT) technology, said Aitken.

“We are going to tie stations together as a combined [spectrum] asset and orchestrate across them,” said Aitken. “That requires a network-based solution like MMT.” MMT can unlock the potential of next-generation television by enabling dynamic ad insertion to mobile and fixed devices, he added.

“They have deployed MMT commercially. They have built devices that consume MMT and provide a rich consumer experience,” said Aitken, adding the telecom’s experience with MMT is so sweeping that it has even developed a mobile addendum to the digital container standard.

While initially targeted for the U.S. television industry, SK Telecom envisions expanding use of the platform to India, according to the press release. SK Telecom ultimately expects to be able to help in expanding the global ecosystem for next-generation broadcasting using its mobile IPTV and media technologies, the press release said.

“The company will share its core infrastructure with global companies to come up with convergent business models that will create new business platforms,” said Park.

For a comprehensive list of TV Technology’s ATSC 3.0 coverage, see our ATSC3 silo.