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

Cowon V5 HD PMP released in South Korea
21.12.2009 - South Korea South Korea
... digital frame mode, e-dictionary and support for various mobile games from SKT. Cowon will sell the PMP in three variants – a regular one, one with DMB ...

(Tech Ticker (blog)) Read more

DMB ad revenues hit record high
18.11.2009 - South Korea South Korea
The monthly advertising revenues of terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting or DMB companies rose to a record high last month, industry data showed ...

(Korea Herald) Read more

Samsung Unveils 12-Megapixel Camera-Phone
29.09.2009 - South Korea South Korea
... global positioning system (GPS), Bluetooth, 4-gigabyte internal memory, a microSD slot and digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) mobile television. ...

(Korea Times) Read more

Motorola's ROKR ZN50 touchscreen slider
14.07.2009 - South Korea South Korea
You'll also get a T-DMB TV tuner, 4GB of inbuilt memory, a microSDHC card slot, 3.2 megapixel camera, an e-dictionary and support for 7.2Mbps HSDPA. ...

(Slippery Brick) Read more

Samsung Haptic 8M launched as Korea’s first 8MP camera phone
26.03.2009 - South Korea South Korea
Samsung has just introduced the first 8 Megapixel phone for the Korean market: Samsung Haptic 8M (model name: SCH-W740). It’sa full-touch handset that we’ve seen before, in some leaked photos, and now it’s finally presented in an official way. ...

(Unwired View, Texas) Read more

iriver's Dicple D35 and D31 with DMB
16.03.2009 - South Korea South Korea
However, the software has certainly come a long way from those electronic dictionary days, with widgets, advanced multimedia features (like DMB and radio recording), handwriting recognition and PIM functions -- all of which we have little idea as to ...

(engadget, CA) Read more

20.02.2009 - Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) - South Korea South Korea
The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) has said that it plans to accelerate exports of homegrown IPTV, Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) ...

(IPTV News, UK) Read more

Cowon launches N3 PMP
17.02.2009 - South Korea South Korea
You also get an FM transmitter, as well as a DMB receiver for mobile TV. The L3 measures 180mm wide, 112mm tall and just 18mm deep, while tipping the scales ...

(Infibeam, India) Read more

Strong growth for Korean mobile TV
15.01.2009 - South Korea South Korea
According to the committee, which represents six service carriers, 15.4 million terrestrial DMB devices, including mobile phones, were sold as of the end of ...

(Braodband TV Nieuws, Netherlands) Read more

Korean DMB service users reach 17.25 million in 2008
15.01.2009 - South Korea South Korea
The total number of terrestrial DMB devices including mobile phones sold was 15.4 million, up 70 percent from the previous year. ...

(Telecompaper, Netherlands) Read more

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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)