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Funds for cell phone TV
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China has granted a 400-million-yuan (US$54 million) government fund to develop mobile phone-based TV technology in the next three years, the Ministry of Science and Technology said yesterday on its website.


Chinese firms are developing homegrown mobile TV standards so that they do not need to pay high royalty fees to Western firms if people use their standards instead.


"The fund is to finance the development from system research to end-equipment design and test process. That will help China establish a self-innovated mobile TV industry chain," the statement said.


The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television will be responsible for the project, according to the statement. That indicated SARFT and media groups will dominate the mobile TV technology, industry insiders said.


Debate has raged on for a long time on whether media groups, such as Shanghai Media Group, or telecommunications operators, like China Mobile, should dominate the potentially big mobile TV market in China.


The country is the world's No. 1 market for mobile phone users with more than 500 million. Its mobile TV services will attract 94 million users in 2009, a whopping 315-percent growth annually since 2005, according to In-Stat, a US-based research firm.


CMMB, or China Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting, which was backed by SARFT, has grown rapidly in China.


Mobile digital TV firm Siano Mobile Silicon has signed a deal with CMB Satellite and Huaqi, an electronic maker to provide solutions for China's mobile TV services based on CMMB technology.


The technology uses satellite and terrestrial signals for effective coverage in densely populated cities and sparsely populated rural areas.


(Shanghai Daily December 13, 2007)

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