South Korea

Last update: 05.08.2015 - older versions

As the first country to commercially launch mobile TV, South Korea is the most successful DMB market in the
world. More than 62 million DMB enabled devices have been sold, of which the most popular are mobile
phones. This number is expected to rise even more with an increase in coverage; services already cover over
80% of the country. Hundreds of DMB devices are available in this market and usage of mobile TV increases
year on year. Interactive services are also growing in popularity adding value to broadcasting services.

The Korean government has set up a digital radio project to recommend a digital radio broadcasting standard for Korea. Following ETRI’s investigation of various digital radio platforms, a major decision is expected regarding the adoption of a digital radio technology for South Korean broadcasters.

An interactive mobile TV service, or Smart DMB, launched in May 2011 with six terrestrial-DMB operators (T-DMB). With Smart DMB, mobile TV viewers are able to search the internet, receive EPG information updates, and even enjoy ‘TV Screen Capture and Share Service’ through SNS while watching television. Moreover, hybrid DMB was launched in Aug 2013 for the high quality video service.

Last update: 30.09.2014 - older versions

Korea’s DMB broadcasts currently covers 80% of the country (almost all residential areas) with all commercial and national broadcasting stations and their associated multi-channels. Coverage is currently at 90% of the population. Planning is based on achieving robust indoor and outdoor coverage using VHF Band III spectrum.

Last update: 12.07.2021 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

Please note:

(a)    These web pages are updated regularly to reflect current services on air, however they may not be exactly up to date.

(b)    The logos shown on these pages are for illustrative purposes only – manufacturers and broadcasters are directed here for information on implementing station logos.

In this country there are three regular national multiplexes on air. There are six major broadcasters providing a variety of services to the South Korean market including mobile TV services. TPEG services are available giving the consumer traffic and travel information. There are 19 video services, two audio services and six data services on air.

Feature of service on air

For DMB application for smart phones, Smart DMB Lite application was released in May 2011. To date 800,000 people have downloaded and used the application (including EPG, BBS service). Smart DMB pro (including VOD, SNS service) was released in January 2013, which is the improved version of Smart DMB Lite.

A nationwide TPEG service was started by four broadcasters in July 2007. The cumulative sales of the GPS navigator to date are about 10 million and 80% of those devices feature TPEG.

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DMB programmes 15 4 19
Data services 0 6 6

Last update: 30.09.2014 - older versions

There are a large number of retailers in Korea selling DMB devices, and there are over 100 different models by over 30 different manufacturers on the market. The most popular are DMB mobile phones and GPS devices. Many mobile phones include DMB, and especially smart phones support Smart DMB applications including interactivity via internet, EPG and BBS service. 

Last update: 05.08.2015 - older versions

From 2009 to 2010, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) under the baton of the government performed a field tests of various digital radio broadcasting technologies such as DAB, DAB+, T-DMB Audio, HD Radio and DRM+ to decide which digital radio broadcasting standard is appropriate to Korea.


Last update: 04.10.2013 - older versions

The Ministry of Communication Committee (KCC) ( governs broadcasting. The KCC is
responsible for the development of broadcasting technology, spectrum management, and the licensing of stations. The KCC is also responsible for regulation of content and advertising, as well as authorising and recommending licences. Only one licence is awarded to the multiplex operator, who can then either provide their own programmes or can lease capacity to other programme providers. The government divided the country into six regional broadcasting areas and 13 new nationwide broadcast licences have been granted for DMB services.

Last update: 05.08.2015 - older versions

The Korean government provides Emergency Warning services via the T-DMB network. Some Navigation systems with T-DMB function can show emergency warning messages when people are watching or receiving TPEG service. Now major broadcasters KBS, MBC, SBS and YTN transmit emergency warning signals in FIDC channel.

Example of Emergency warning service in Navigation receiver with T-DMB function

ETRI is under development of an emergency wake-up alter technology for T-DMB/DAB. As emergency situations occur, the T-DMB/DAB transmitters or repeaters transmit a wake-up signal and emergency warning messages using the T-DMB/DAB signal. A T-DMB/DAB receiver ‘wakes-up’, shows the emergency warning messages and finally tunes to the emergency broadcasting channel.

Configuration of emergency wake-up alert technology for T-DMB/DAB

WorldDAB member focus: RedwoodComm
01.08.2022 - RedwoodComm Co., Ltd. - South Korea South Korea
WorldDAB member RedwoodComm recently completed work on a free software tool to help users easily simulate Service (Seamless) Linking. We learn more about RedwoodComm's offer in this interview with Darby Cho, Principal Engineer.

(WorldDAB) Read more

WorldDAB member focus - Glovane Co., Ltd
21.06.2021 - Glovane Co., Ltd WorldDAB Member - South Korea South Korea
WorldDAB member Glovane recently completed work on the implementation of Arabic and Thai characters for DAB receivers. We learn more about Glovane's offer in this interview with Louis Ryu, Marketing Director.

(WorldDAB) Read more

Glovane’s DAB chip and module applied to BT speaker of Harman’s JBL products
20.10.2020 - Glovane Co., Ltd WorldDAB Member - HARMAN WorldDAB Member - South Korea South Korea
Glovane is a company specialised in highly integrated low power digital radio receiver chips and modules for DAB. Glovane has partnered with global supply network and OEM audio manufacturers and is now becoming a global leader in semiconductors. Since 2019, Glovane’s DAB chip and module have been applied to the BT speaker of Harman’s JBL Products and other brand products.

(Glovane) Read more

Telechips, to show off new cockpit solution with DAB+
10.01.2018 - South Korea South Korea
Telechips will showcase all-in-one IVI(including Wireless CarPlay)/HUD on Dolphin(TCC802x), cluster/AVM/connectivity(SDL) on TCC897x, entry-level Cluster on TCC892x and low-end car audio solution with connectivity and digital-radio(DAB/DAB )...

(Business Wire (press release)) Read more

LG launch world's first DAB+ smartphone
14.03.2016 - LG Electronics WorldDAB Member - South Korea South Korea
The LG Stylus 2 was unveiled today at Radiodays Europe 2016 in Paris. Consumers in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom will be the first to receive the LG Stylus 2 with DAB+.

(LG/IDAG) Read more

South Korean Mobile Broadcasting Service Launches in Mongolia
20.12.2013 - South Korea South Korea
A new mobile digital media broadcasting (T-DMB) service that was developed in South Korea launched recently in Mongolia, the Korean culture ministry announced.

(Hollywood Reporter) Read more

Patent Issued for Error Detection Method and Apparatus in DMB Receiver
12.12.2013 - South Korea South Korea
A patent by the inventors Ryu, Ga-hyun (Suwon-si, KR); Park, Jeong-hoon (Seoul, KR), filed on September 16, 2005, was published online on December 3, 2013. Patent number 8600176 is assigned to Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Suwon-Si, KR) and relates to a method of detecting errors generated by not processing received data in realtime when receiving a digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB), and more particularly, to a method and apparatus for detecting errors generated by a DMB receiver by not processing received audio/video data in realtime.

( Read more

Samsung Electronics Releases Galaxy Win with DMB
07.11.2013 - South Korea South Korea
If the user of the Galaxy Win downloads smart DMB, they can also enjoy high-quality DMB that is four times clearer than regular DMB.

(Korea IT Times (press release)) Read more

Patent Issued for Method of and Apparatus for Providing and Receiving Video ...
07.10.2013 - South Korea South Korea
A patent by the inventor Park, Jeong-hoon (Seoul, KR), filed on December 4, 2006, was published online on September 24, 2013. Patent number 8542621 is assigned to Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Suwon-si, KR) and is for a particular method for providing and receiving a video service in DAB.

( Read more

KBS DAB+ Trial in Seoul
04.06.2013 - South Korea South Korea
KBS will launch a government approved DAB+ trial in Seoul, Korea before the end of the year.

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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 51.4 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 90%
Services: 19 DMB, 6 Data
Receiver sales (cumulative): 62,000,000 devices
Penetration by population: Sparkline Graph 50%
Last update: 12.07.2021

Useful Links

Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI)