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Tuning for TV channels - What's New? Tuning for TV channels

11 July 2003
Written by Patrick Tsang

A short time ago, mobile phone technology advanced from analogue to our current 2G digital network, capable of sending SMS and MMS. We all marvel at our mobile communication technology as it advances forward with a giant leap, to the most recent introduction of the new network capable of video conferences, provided by the Three networks using 3G broadband technologies.

So what more can we expect in the future from our telecommunications providers?

NEC Corporation announced yesterday that it has developed the working prototype of a mobile phone equipped with the receiver of terrestrial digital TV broadcasting.

From December 2003, terrestrial digital TV broadcasting service will commence in major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka districts in Japan. In a few years time, we would be expecting to have programmes specifically targeted for portable terminals such as mobile phones as part of the terrestrial digital TV programmes. By using this service, mobile phone can also provide integrating services such as image, voice/sounds, data and mobile internet applications / services and content and also further attractive programmes with effective combinations of TV broadcasting and mobile communications.

The new mobile phone would also enable users to conduct push-button purchase TV shopping.

The prototype has been realized by employing portable antenna for digital TV broadcasting, UHF tuner, OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) decoding LSI developed by NEC on 3rd generation (3G) W-CDMA mobile phone. The OFDM decoding LSI "PD 61530" has been developed by NEC Electronics Inc. in November 2002, which is the first in the industry. With this LSI, low-power consumption and ultra-small package has been realized.

"NEC is also leading digital TV broadcasting infrastructure systems vendor so this prototype is the integrated product of NEC's competences and know-how in mobile, digital TV broadcasting and electron device field,." said Yoshiharu Tamura, General Manager of NEC's Mobile Terminals Division.

NEC will further enhance the prototype improving its capability such as better receiver devices, lower-power consumption, and also develop characteristic digital TV/mobile internet integrated service applications, and detailed functions on mobile phone. We would also be expecting the ability for users to record television programmes onto the mobile phone.

NEC has not set a target price for the new product but a marketing survey found it could be priced about 6000-7000 yen (AUD$100 - $120) higher than regular models, a NEC official said.

Currently, a typical mobile phone model cost around AUD$200, while some are provided free to first-time subscribers and high-end third-generation phone prices are three times more expensive.

NEC will demonstrate the prototype at "Telecom 2003" held from Oct 4th 2003 at Geneva, Switzerland.

The end-product is scheduled for a commercial launch in 2005.

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