A trial of internet protocol television (IPTV) will be launched in South Korea later this year. The country's Ministry of Information and Communication has announced that a pilot scheme will begin in the autumn—possibly around October—in conjunction with the Korean Broadcasting Commission.
A large number of business consortiums will be involved in the carrying out of the test broadcasts, which are expected to be available to many hundreds of households before the new year.
However, industry insiders expect the trial to get underway sooner than scheduled because much of the necessary infrastructure is already in place and preparations are almost complete. South Korea's biggest fixed-line and broadband operator, KT, has already established its IPTV system, while rival telco Hanaro Telecom has finalised a commercial video-on-demand format.
KT vice president Shim Ju-kyo said: "We will take part in the test run and offer new features that TV watchers could not enjoy in the past. We hope regulatory issues will be addressed this year and we will be able to commercially launch IPTV early next year".
Broadcasting Commissioner Kim Woo-seok was optimistic about the trial's timings: "We aim to designate consortiums that will take charge of the trial by the end of [September]. Then the pilot run will possibly begin in early October".
Kim added: "For the early take-up of potential-rich IPTV, we decided to hook up with the information ministry. We will check technical viability of the services through the envisioned trial".
Lovelace Consulting | 21.08.2006