Those in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games will be able to watch the sporting spectacular free of charge on electronic devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras and MP4 players.
Beijing Radio yesterday officially launched a free Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) service, which broadcasts smooth high-definition digital audio and video programs to mobile equipment.
"Twelve Beijing Radio channels, as well as TV programs from CCTV-News and BTV 1 are available through the DAB service from today, while China National Radio and China International Radio will join us later," said Wang Liang, head of Beijing Radio, at yesterday's launch ceremony,
"Besides, TV programs designed especially for mobile terminals with small screens are also under development.
"From the beginning of 2007, DAB services will begin to transmit information about government affairs, daily life, the city and real-time traffic and weather conditions," Wang added.
According to a DAB news briefing, municipal services will also be provided such as a hospital treatment register, a long-standing major concern for Beijing residents.
During the 2008 Games, foreigners visiting Beijing will be able to rent receiving devices, easing their access to the events.
In addition to helping visitors find destinations such as hotels and hospitals, the DAB system will also be used for audience management and emergency incidents at the 2008 Games, according to an unnamed source with Beijing municipal government.
The government estimated that there the city will see over 1 million DAB system terminals spring up by the opening ceremony of the 2008 Games.
The receiving terminals must be equipped with digital video broadcasting chips to gain access to DAB services.
Cellular phones capable of taking the services will be available by year-end at a price of about 5,000 yuan (US$625), according to sources from Lenovo, Beijing's first designated manufacturer of DAB cellular phones.
Rural residents in Beijing are for the moment unable to receive this service, since only the area inside the Sixth Ring Road is covered at present.
(China Daily September 7, 2006)