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

DAB+ and DMB come to tablets
21.03.2011 - Glovane Co., Ltd WorldDAB Member - South Korea South Korea
The 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.

(Broadband TV News) Read more

T-DMB Emergency Warning System for Tunnel Application
25.02.2011 - South Korea South Korea
And the Terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting or T-DMB which allows users to watch TV on mobile devices while on the move was the key component of this groundbreaking system. ] "This new emergency warning system which is installed inside the ...

(Arirang News) Read more

ENSPERT unveils Mobile TV chip-set offering at CES 2011
11.01.2011 - Glovane Co., Ltd WorldDAB Member - South Korea South Korea
... meets the US standard for mobile TV in North America, ISDC-T (1-Seg) for Japan, Brazil and South America and T-DMB and DAB for Korea and Europe. ...

(Computer Business Review) Read more

DMB ads edge up despite crisis
01.06.2010 - South Korea South Korea
DMB, or digital multimedia broadcasting, ads rose 54.3 percent in 2009 compared to the previous year, as more auto navigation systems and handheld devices adopt DMB television feeds.

(JoongAng Daily) Read more

(New Product) LG to offer Internet-based interactive DMB phone in S. Korea
16.04.2010 - South Korea South Korea
... the first mobile phone in South Korea that provides Internet-based interactive digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) services, LG said Thursday. ...

(Trading Markets (press release)) Read more

Korea Telecom on Wednesday said it is considering launching its own mobile TV service in 2011.
25.03.2010 - South Korea South Korea
Korea Telecom on Wednesday said it is considering launching its own mobile TV service in 2011.

Read more

Video : Motorola MOTOROI - 3.7 inch touchscreen display , T-DMB TV receiver
18.02.2010 - South Korea South Korea
The MOTOROI is Moto's first Android 2.0 offering for the Korean market and looks like Koreans would love entertainment on the go with the 3.7 inch display ...

(Fone Arena (blog)) Read more

Mobile phone television growing in South Korea
15.02.2010 - South Korea South Korea
The world's second and third biggest mobile phone makers, Samsung and LG, manufacture phones embedded with terrestrial digital mobile broadcasting or DMB ...

(Australia Network News) Read more

LG, Samsung in Bids to Conquer South America
04.01.2010 - South Korea South Korea
Among the cutting-edge products the company is displaying at its pavilion are digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) mobile phones, wideband code division ...

(The Chosun Ilbo) Read more

Blackbox feature will be added to Korean navigation devices in 2010
24.12.2009 - South Korea South Korea
... FM Transmitter, Games, T-DMB (mobile TV) and, lately added Eco-Drive feature which allows drivers to find nearest gas station that offers lowest price, ...

(CNET Asia (blog)) Read more

Select Country:

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)