China to test mobile TV in preparation for Beijing Olympics

China will start testing mobile TV services using DMB in the middle of 2007 in preparation for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, a report from state media Xinhua news agency said.

The Xinhua report, quoting China's State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), said transmission of TV signals to mobiles would be tested in mid-2007 and the satellite system activated in the first half of 2008 so that the Olympic Games could be projected to millions of mobile users across the country.

China's two biggest mobile telecom operators, China Mobile and China Unicom, were expected to sign agreements at the end of the month with mobile phone makers to buy TV handsets, the report said.

Aside from mobile phones, big-screen PDAs and MP4 players would also be able to receive TV signals, said Yang Qinghua, an official with SARFT's broadcasting science research institute.

China would soon announce its own national terrestrial digital TV standard, said Wang Lian, vice director of SARFT's technology department, the report said.

When the trial operation is launched, mobile users would be able to download TV programs from an operator's network or receive signals directly via an integrated mobile chip.

China has more than 400 million mobile phone users and the number is increasing by 5 million a month, according to the Ministry of Information Technology, the Xinhua report further said.