DStv Mobile rival launches test network

Black-owned broadcaster Mobile TV has begun test transmissions using Korea’s digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) technology from Sentech’s tower in Brixton, Johannesburg.

Mobile TV, formerly known as the Mobile TV Consortium, was given a test licence in September to test the capabilities of DMB, a competitor standard to the digital video broadcasting handheld (DVB-H) network recently launched by MultiChoice.

The test network is providing a number of television and radio broadcasts from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), including SABC 1, 2 and 3 and radio stations 5fm and Metro FM.

Mobile TV is controlled by businessman Richard Moloko’s Moloko Investment Group.

If Mobile TV launches the service commercially, it will join countries such as Norway, France, Italy, Poland, Malaysia, Ghana, Egypt and China in deploying the technology.

Mobile TV chairperson Mothobi Mutloatse said 5fm and Metro FM have become the first radio stations in South Africa to be broadcast digitally as part of the trial. The company has partnered with the SABC and Sentech to provide the service.

“The SABC is the broadest and most diverse media house in the country, commanding 35m viewers and listeners daily,” says Mutloatse in a statement.

“The SABC’s 18 radio stations reach more than 16m adults and its three television stations pull in more than 19m viewers a day,” he says. “It is the ideal launchpad for Mobile TV.”

“Soon, one of them will also become the first audio station in Africa to test DMB’s ‘visual radio’ interactivity, which allows for music downloads and Internet services,’ he said. — TechCentral

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