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Communications and Broadcasting Service Providers Locked in Conflict

Communications and Broadcasting Service Providers Locked in Conflict

Posted January. 20, 2005 22:41,   


“Promising new businesses are getting hurt from the vested interests of broadcasting stations,” say communications service companies.

“We cannot just sit and watch communications service providers enter into the broadcasting market,” say broadcasting stations.

With the communications and broadcasting converged service provision up ahead, conflicts between communications service providers and broadcasting stations are becoming deeper.

With recent developments in information technology (IT), communications service companies have to find new profit sources in the converging service field, and are clashing with broadcasting stations in various places. Terrestrial broadcasting stations including KBS and cable TV companies are not taking communication service companies entering into the broadcasting market well in large part because of the protection of the broadcasting market and various interests in the past.

Digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB), also called “TV inside my hand,” is a representative converged service where TV broadcasting can be seen on portable devices. This service is divided by the radio transmission method into satellite DMB and terrestrial DMB. This service is expected to create jobs for 184,000 people over the next 10 years, to add 6.3 trillion won of value to the industry, and to induce production worth about nine trillion won. It is expected to be a huge boost to the business, bringing immense effects.

However, there are difficulties in pushing on with this business: problems retransmitting ground waves and the additional expense of installing repeaters.

The decision on whether or not to allow retransmission of ground waves for satellite DMB will be made this February or March, but the opinions of both sides are sharply divided. Communications service providers say that retransmission is necessary, while broadcasting stations say it is not.

The expense of installing repeaters for terrestrial DMB is also facing similar opposition.

Communications service providers insist that terrestrial broadcasting stations should pay for marketing expenses. However, for the upcoming final licensing in March, broadcasters are demanding the industries share the expenses.

There are quite a few conflicts between the two over IP-TV service as well, which transmits TV programs over the Internet.

Broadcasters and some news agencies say in keeping with their previous standpoint, “We cannot allow IP-TV services from huge communications service providers. This service must be controlled by broadcasting related laws.” However, communications service providers, including KT and Hanaro Telecom, are saying, “The communications infrastructure was built with several trillion won, and it would be a national loss if broadcasting programs were not transmitted over it.”

TPS (Triple Play Service), a combined service of high speed Internet, Internet telephony and broadcasting, is also causing problems. Cable TV companies are competing to lower prices while attracting high-speed Internet users, and communications service providers are saying, “Cable TV is launching a low price offensive.”

Wi-Yong Jung viyonz@donga.com