Authorization of Digital Satellite Broadcasting Providers Completed

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications authorized data broadcasting providers on December 17, 1999. By this authorization, all the participants in digital television, sound, and data broadcasting have been decided.

Data broadcasting provider selection
Twelve transmission slots (1 slot=1.08Mbps of transmission capacity) were allocated for providers specializing in data services, and eight companies were authorized to use these transmission capacities. One of the MPT's selection guidelines gave priority to new providers rather than existing broadcasters. The newly authorized data broadcasting providers consist of companies from various industries. Included are communications services, newspapers, publishing firms, manufacturers, a retail store, and software producers.

Securing engineering broadcasting
As a special form of data broadcasting, engineering broadcasting was also approved. By means of engineering broadcasting, newly updated receiver software can be transmitted to upgrade functions on a previously purchased receiver.

Frequency allocation for digital satellite broadcasting
Utilizing digital satellite broadcasting, new types of services are going to be promoted by the 20 companies. Broadcasters assigned to four transponders are shown in Figure 1. Data broadcasting services will not be offered exclusively by the eight companies that provide data broadcasting services. Eight authorized digital TV broadcasters and four digital sound broadcasters are also permitted to carry out data broadcasting using previously allotted transmission slots.

Each broadcasting provider is now implementing full-scale examination of attractive service contents. New service-contents greatly exceeding the framework of conventional broadcasting may be created. It can be said that the dream of ISDB, geared towards more colorful services, is about to be realized in the 21st century.

Figure 1: The Second Launched BS-4 Satellite Channel Allocation