China readies 'TV on the go' system

Beijingers may soon be able to catch up on their favorite skeins via their cell phones when China rolls out its first commercial “TV on the go” system in April, using South Korean technology.

Technically called terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting (T-DMB), the system for the capital will offer two video channels and data services such as traffic and travel information on mobile phones.

The Ministry of Information & Communication in Seoul said a government think tank, the Electronics & Telecommunications Research Institute, would link up with Beijing Jolon Digital Media Broadcasting to launch the service.

South Korea has done much with mobile TV services, launching the world’s first satellite digital mobile broadcasting and terrestrial digital mobile service in May and December, respectively, last year.

Korea’s SK Telecom’s 30%-owned unit TU Media runs the world’s first commercial mobile broadcasting service, offering 11 video and 26 audio channels using satellite technology.

Jolon Digital was created as a branch of Beijing Radio in January 2005 to find a way for China to enter the digital mobile market and has offered trial services since April using Korea’s technology.

Earlier this month, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, Samsung, inked a deal to supply 200,000 phones to the Chinese broadcaster. South Korean soap operas are hugely popular in China, so it’s likely much of the content will come from there.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more