Shanghai company plans TV service for mobile phones

Oriental Pearl plans to offer a TV service for mobile phones in Shanghai starting from the second half of next year.

China Shanghai Oriental Pearl (Group), which specializes in television and radio transmission services, plans to introduce a TV broadcast service for mobile phones during the second half of next year, a company official said Monday.

The TV service, which is based on DMB (Digital Media Broadcast) technology, will only be available to subscribers in Shanghai, according to a company engineer who declined to be identified by name. Users will pay a monthly subscription fee to watch TV programs using the service, the engineer said, noting that exact pricing for the service has not yet been decided.

Unlike DMB-based services available in South Korea and Japan, the Oriental Pearl service will not rely on satellites to transmit a TV signal to users, the engineer said. Instead, the service will be provided over a network of base stations that will blanket Shanghai with a DMB signal.

While Oriental Pearl will provide the DMB service to customers, its sister company Shanghai Media Group will be responsible for developing content for the service, the engineer said.

The company, which does not offer mobile telephone services, has already begun testing the DMB service over a trial network, the engineer said, noting that the trial currently involves only a handful of users.

Users will need a DMB-capable handset to access the service, which will be sold by the company's partners, the engineer said.

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