Japan considers more spectrum for mobile TV

Rose Major

Japanís government has launched a consultation on whether to use some of the spectrum freed up by the switch to digital broadcasting for broadcasting to portable devices Ė ie mobile TV.

A certain amount of frequencies throughout the VHF band and UHF band (90-108MHz, 170-222MHz and 710-770MHz) will be freed up when Japan switches to digital, slated for July 24 2011. This spectrum will be available for use for other purposes.

Japanís mobile digital TV service, OneSeg, launched in early 2006 using Japanís ISDB-T technology. The platform simulcasts the free-to-air programming available on the fixed DTT platform. Two years after launch there were already some 20 million handsets capable of receiving OneSeg on the market. Tuners have also been built into laptops, car navigation systems and MP3 players.

In March 2006, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) consulted the countryís Information and Communications Council on technical conditions to effectively use these radio waves. In June 2007, the MIC received the response that frequencies 90-108MHz and 207.5-222MHz could be used for multimedia broadcasting.

The MIC will be accepting public comments until August 10.