China Telecom, CMMB venture to deploy advanced network for ‘connected car’ services
Commercial deployment of multimedia broadcasting platform next year after nationwide trials in 2017
China Telecom, the world’s eighth largest wireless network operator by subscribers, has agreed to collaborate with Global Vision Media Technology on rolling out key infrastructure that will support nationwide, satellite-based “connected car” services.
Global Vision Media is a joint venture between Hong Kong-listed CMMB Vision Holdings and Global Broadcasting Media Group, a subsidiary of the state-owned China Radio International.
“Under the agreement, China Telecom will render its terrestrial 3G and 4G mobile network to combine with the company’s L-band satellite broadcasting network to develop a convergent mobile delivery network,” CMMB Vision chairman and chief executive Charles Wong Chau-chi said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.
The cooperation with China Telecom, which had 215 million mobile subscribers at the end of December, marks CMMB Vision’s latest effort to step up the commercial deployment of a new “multimedia broadcasting service platform”, capable of bundling high-quality video, audio and internet data services, as well as precision navigation, to hundreds of millions of potential subscribers in the world’s biggest car market by sales.
That platform will be made possible by the mainland-developed multicast technology known as Converged Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting, which CMMB Vision has long been promoting. The Global Vision venture serves as the company’s operating arm.
CMMB Vision plans to deploy a nationwide trial network for its multimedia broadcasting platform this year, paving the way for commercial deployment next year.
In April, Wong pointed out that “satellite mobile broadcasting is the most effective way of distributing entertainment services to vehicles”.
“China is the world’s largest car market with more than 250 million vehicles, yet there is a severe lack of in-car entertainment and media services,” he said at the time, noting the limited coverage and expensive data rates under existing 4G network services.
Apart from satellite capabilities, Global Vision will provide media content and channel programming, in its latest collaboration, while China Telecom will also deliver its internet data centre facilities and online content distribution network, according to Wong.
China Telecom told the South China Morning Post on Tuesday that it will “continue to adopt an open approach in exploring collaboration opportunities and develop the service eco-sphere with business partners”.
Global Vision’s pact with China Telecom followed a partnership it forged in January with the China Internet Information Center, which runs the leading portal for Chinese news and information services targeting a global audience.
Wong said the cooperation with China Internet Information Center will enable Global Vision “to aggregate, develop, and create a variety of video, audio, and data content suitable for in-car consumption”.
In December, Global Vision announced a series of strategic alliances with seven major domestic suppliers of car-mounted mobile terminal electronic devices that would help jointly promote and develop new applications under its proposed multimedia broadcasting service platform.
Those suppliers are Huizhou Desai Xiwei Automotive Electronics, Datang Instrument Technology, Shenzhen Hang Sheng Electronics, Yixin-Jiangsu Science and Technology, Xiamen Yaxun Network, Shanghai Botai Yueqin Electronic Equipment and China TSP (Yuante) Company.
“Collectively they represent the complete supply-chain for research and development, manufacturing, testing, installation and sale of car-mounted applications and terminal devices,” Wong said.