In brief: Tight spectrum stalls Qualcomm Korea video

April 11, 2006

South Korea has reportedly blocked Qualcomm's plans for a wireless video service due to a lack of broadcast spectrum.

The Korea Times said Tuesday that Qualcomm's MediaFlo launch would have to wait until the switchover from analogue television to digital in 2010.

"Even if Qualcomm reportedly tries to consolidate MediaFlo with Korean mobile broadcasting services, the firm still needs a radio frequency," Communications Ministry Director Joo Jong-ok told the newspaper. "As a result, it would be impossible for it to deploy MediaFlo here before the digital switchover."

MediaFlo allows multicasting of video and audio streams to wireless devices, which requires a radio frequency band. Additional bandwidth will become available in 2010, and could be licensed as early as 2008.

Joo told the Times it appeared Qualcomm was already positioning itself to nab one of the licenses at the earliest possible date.

There was no immediate word from San Diego-based Qualcomm in the short-term prospects for the MediaFlo project.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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