Korea : SK Telecom announced that the construction of the world's
first satellite for Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) called 'Han
Byul' is completed, and it will be moved to the blast-off site.
satellite for DMB has been under development at Space Systems Loral,
located in Palo Alto Ca. in the U.S., since June of 2002. It was recently
moved to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and is ready for launch.
This satellite was built in a joint effort between SK Telecom and
Japan's Mobile Broadcasting Corporation (MBCO). This was in accordance
with a contract for joint possession of a satellite, signed by the
two companies in September 2003. The satellite is scheduled to be
launched on the 12th of March this year.
launch of this satellite is drawing keen attention from satellite
operators and IT companies worldwide because it is the world's first
satellite for DMB. Its launch has great significance in securing a
leadership role in the DMB market for both Korea and Japan.
Japanese government is making use of the satellite DMB business to
leap forward in becoming a major IT power in the global market. The
Japanese have already started selecting DMB service providers, and
completing the revision of DMB-related broadcasting laws. Japan's
MBCO obtained a preliminary business license in July last year from
the government, and plans to offer the service soon after the launching
of the satellite. However, the timing of SK Telecom's DMB service
launch this year is not certain, due to the delay in revision of the
Korean Broadcasting Law. In this regard, the satellite will possibly
run idle again like the 'Mugunghwa Satellite' did in the past. This
would cause a great loss of national prestige and resources.
on the coverage and the number of base stations each company will
operate, SK Telecom and MBCO determined a satellite purchase ratio
of 34.66%(SK Telecom), and 65.34%(MBCO) respectively. Therefore, SK
Telecom will furnish about 94.5 billion Korean won, out of the total
of 272.0 billion won required to cover the cost of satellite purchase,
satellite launch, control tower operation, insurance, etc. Under this
contract for joint operation of a satellite, SK Telecom will share
satellite, insurance, ground control tower, and operational costs.
This will result in a saving of about 150 billion won over the cost
of operating a satellite on its own.
Dong Bae, head of TU Media Corp., which is in charge of the satellite
DMB business in Korea stated, "Developing terminals, and securing
the satellite and a frequency for the satellite DMB business, is proceeding
without a setback. When the satellite is launched next month, preparations
for the service will be completed. In view of the DMB business's positive
economic effect on the domestic industry, as well as the creation
of new jobs due to activating this enterprise, we expect the Broadcasting
Law will be revised during the extraordinary Assembly session in February
DMB is a new service that will allow subscribers to access all multimedia
broadcast channels at any time and anywhere, via special receivers
in mobile handsets and automobiles.