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

Industry Leaders to Address ABU Technical Committee
21.09.2012 - South Korea South Korea
Prominent industry leaders will be addressing the ABU Technical Committee Meeting being held in Seoul from 12-14 October 2012.

Read more

Samsung Galaxy R Style Heads Straight for Korean Mobile Gamblers
06.06.2012 - South Korea South Korea
Regulars of mobile casinos will also find the following features of the Samsung Galaxy R Style useful: Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, NFC and T-DMB. The whole thing runs on a dual-core 1.5GHz CPU, comes with a 5MP snapper and has 16GB or internal storage.

(Blackjack Champ) Read more

New Samsung Galaxy Android 4.0 Phone Joins Galaxy S3 [PICS]
02.06.2012 - South Korea South Korea
The handset is packed with features and tech such as Wi-Fi, NFC, T-DBM, mobile TV, GPS and it has 16GB of memory built into the handset. It will run on the latest Android 3.0 ie Ice Cream Sandwich. There is not much difference between this model and ...

(MotoringCrunch) Read more

A Glimpse into the Future: South Korea
01.06.2012 - South Korea South Korea
That might look like the case in the UK, where consumption of the BBC's TV services via smartphone is only about 0.04% of total consumption, and 0.05% by tablet. However it's not obvious in Korea, where mobile TV is now very popular indeed, ...

(BBC News (blog)) Read more

A peek inside the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7
08.04.2012 - South Korea South Korea
The blog takes apart the Korean LTE version of the tablet and shows off its DMB TV antenna, LTE, HSPA 21Mbps Modem Chip 1.5GHz DualCore Chip and more....

(IntoMobile) Read more

Samsung and IDAG Launch GALAXY S WiFi 5.0 for Digital Radio and Mobile TV
22.02.2012 - South Korea South Korea
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, and International DMB Advancement Group (IDAG) today announced the launch of digital radio, mobile TV and internet services with the Samsung GALAXY S WiFi 5.0. The device will be available from April, 2012 in Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Norway and South Africa.

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Samsung's SHV-E120L LTE flagship detailed in full
22.09.2011 - South Korea South Korea
South Korea will soon witness a fierce battle in the mobile market as both LG and Samsung are rolling out some high-end, LTE-supporting smartphones. LG has the LU6200 model covered last week, while Samsung is relying on the SHV-E120L to do serious ...

(Techconnect Magazine) Read more

Samsung launches larger Galaxy Tab in Korea
25.07.2011 - South Korea South Korea
The 8.6 millimeter-thin tablet computer weighs 570 grams and is powered by 1-gigahertz dual core processor. The model for the Korean market supports the digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) service, a popular TV-browsing service. (Yonhap)

(Korea Times) Read more

Enspert plans July release for 8.9-inch Android Honeycomb tablet
10.05.2011 - Glovane Co., Ltd WorldDAB Member - South Korea South Korea
Enspert's 8.9-inch device has a WSVGA (1024 x 600) touchscreen, a dual-core processor (maybe Nvidia's Tegra 2), GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, a T-DMB tuner, and comes in an ultra-slim form factor. The tablet's price tag has not been announced.

(Techconnect Magazine) Read more

Digital Radio and Mobile TV in New Tablets
29.03.2011 - Glovane Co., Ltd WorldDAB Member - South Korea South Korea
International DMB Advancement Group (IDAG) and tablet maker Enspert have partnered to bring Android tablets with built-in digital radio and mobile TV (DAB/DAB+ and DMB) to market on four continents, starting in June.

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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)