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

S. Korea to export ground-based digital broadcasting to Saudi Arabia
28.11.2008 - South Korea South Korea
... understanding (MOU) to export a ground-based mobile broadband service to Saudi Arabia. The terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting (T-DMB) agreement ...

(TMC Net, CT) Read more

Korea's DMB Content Storage Technology Adopted as an Int'l Standard
19.09.2008 - South Korea South Korea
DMB-AF carries out storage and management of contents transmitted over terrestrial, satellite DMB and DAB(Digital Audio Broadcasting), DAB with their meta ...

(Telecoms Korea (subscription), South Korea) Read more

TBS, Arirang Expand English Programs for OECD Meeting
17.06.2008 - South Korea South Korea
A special English-language program will air for 12 hours on the TBS channel on the digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) bandwidth. ...

(코리아타임즈, South Korea) Read more

Glofiish announces first dual-SIM handset, mobile TV handset, and two great new models for consumers
11.06.2008 - South Korea South Korea
E-TEN has been awarded the Best Choice of Computex Award 2008 for its innovative new Glofiish DX900 – the first dual-SIM Windows Mobile handset to support HSDPA and EDGE.

(Glofiish) Read more

DMB Service Attracts 10 Mil. Korean Subscribers
23.04.2008 - South Korea South Korea
In the span of just two and a half years the number of DMB or digital multimedia broadcasting users has topped 10 million in Korea. ...

(조선일보(영문판), South Korea) Read more

TTA Establishes DMB Standards
18.04.2008 - Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) - South Korea South Korea
Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) announced the recent Technical Assembly (TA) established 6 DMB standards including one for DPS or Data Push ...

(Telecoms Korea (subscription), South Korea) Read more

Mobile TV on DMB in Korea
17.01.2006 - South Korea South Korea
Over 10 million people have had access to mobile television in Seoul (Korea) since late fall 2005 - via DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting), a standard based on DAB that was developed for the transmission of mobile television and multimedia data.

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)