Digital Multimedia Broadcasting – A distant dream?

DMB or Digital Multimedia Broadcasting was originally developed by South Korea in 2005 as a digital radio transmission that is capable of sending multimedia services such as TV, Radio and datacastng (broadcasting of data over a wide area via radio waves) to mobile phones and devices. South Korea originally developed this technology to replace FM radios and the service was launched in May of 2005. The service operates via satellite (S-DMB), or terrestrial (T-DMB) transmission. DMB exists alternatively to its competitor, the DVB-H mobile TV standard.

DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld) is one of three prevalent mobile TV formats responsible for bringing broadcast services to mobile handsets. DVB-H is officially endorsed by the European Union as the “preferred technology for terrestrial mobile broadcasting”. Major competing technologies include Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) system, and the 3G cellular system based MBMS mobile-TV standard. DVB-SH (Satellite services to Handhelds) now and DVB-H2 in the future are possible enhancements to DVB-H.

S-DMB on the other hand is a hybrid version of Digital Multimedia Broadcasting incorporating a high power geostationary satellite for outdoor and light indoor coverage integrated with a terrestrial repeater network for indoor coverage in urban areas. Similar architectures include XM Satellite Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, MobaHo!, DVB-SH and ETSI Satellite Digital Radio (SDR). T-DMB transmits on radio frequency bands band III (VHF) and L (UHF), for terrestrial.

DMB Mobility and Automobiles

T-DMB has demonstrated to work in vehicles travelling up to 120 km/h. In tunnels or underground areas, both TV and Radio broadcast is still available, though DMB may skip occasionally with the broadcast recovering quickly.

Availability in other regions

China uses the Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting (CMMB) mobile television and multimedia standard developed and specified in China by the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT). Launched during the Olympics in 2008. It specifies usage of the 2.6 GHz frequency band and occupies 25 MHz bandwidth within which it provides 25 video and 30 radio channels with some additional data channels

United States and Canada allocate their first band for television broadcasting (VHF channels 7 to 13), and United States reserves the L band for military applications, DMB is not available in North America instead Qualcomm’s MediaFLO (proprietary system) is in use. In trial in Canada in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, done by CBC/Radio-Canada.

In Japan, 1seg is the standard, using ISDB.

In Norway, DMB service is available.

Germany’s ‘Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland’ (MFD) launched the commercial T-DMB service “Watcha” in June 2006, in time for the World Cup 2006, marketed together with Samsung’s P900 DMB Phone, the first DMB Phone in Europe. It was stopped in April 2008 as MFD is now favouring DVB-H, the European standard.

In Netherlands, the service is deployed on the L-Band frequency.

In trial in France in Paris.

In trial in Indonesia in Jakarta.

Italy is covering more than 50% of the population.

In trial in Ghana in Accra on Onetouch mobile network.

Malaysia, the government is already committed to deploying DVB-T for government-owned channels.

Pakistan: China Mobile may launch it soon.


  • Ch Sayem

    Bro I want to buy a smart phone that supports Digital Media Broadcast, is in Pakistan, DMB is available, means I will able to watch TV on mobile just as I listen FM on mobile?
    please guide me about this..
    Thank u :)