Kate Bulkley, Media Analyst.

China shows the way in mobile

By Kate Bulkley

IBC2008 Daily

15 September 2008

SARFT President Ju Ma at the IBC conference with Screen Digest analyst Lingjie Wang

SARFT President Ju Ma at the IBC conference with Screen Digest analyst Lingjie Wang

During the recent Olympic Games China showcased its latest great leap forward through advancements in mobile broadcasting technology. Dual-mode mobile handsets including both China's mobile broadcasting standard (CMMB) and its newest cellular technology (TDS CDMA) were tested in tens of thousands of handsets in 37 cities across China.

"The Olympics was the first time that these two technologies were put together in handsets to allow both mobile broadcast TV and also easy switching to internet streaming," said Ju Ma, president of China's Academy of Broadcasting Science for the State Administration of Radio, Film & Television (SARFT) who has visited IBC for the first time.

CMMB was developed by the Academy in cooperation with both Chinese and foreign companies. Some 40,000 dual mode handsets were used in Beijing alone, according to Ma. "This is an important trial for China and the commercial companies can test the response from the people." China already counts nearly 600 million mobile phone subscribers.

The Beijing Olympics also saw China's state broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), broadcasting 14 channels of Olympics coverage, including one fully HD channel. "The Olympic games is a good start to stimulate people to buy TV screens," Ma said.

Ma had this to say about the future: "The big challenge for China is not new technology. The big challenge is how to give TV service to everyone. There is a big difference in income levels between the cities and the rural areas. In the next five years this is the big challenge for our Ministry, to get TV to all people in China either on TV sets, mobile, terrestrial or satellite." Today China has more than 400 million TV sets for its 1.3 billion people.

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