The Nikkei is reporting that Japan-based handset makers Panasonic Mobile Communications, a division of Matsushita Electric, and Sanyo are set to commercialize cell phones capable of recieving terrestrial broadcast signals in response to the planned launch of services by NHK and private-sector TV stations by Q1 2006. Shipments of these new models are expected to begin between year-end and next spring.
Panasonic Mobile is said to be providing their handsets to NTT DoCoMo, while Sanyo will ship its units to
KDDI Corp. In May this year Sharp also unveiled a prototype cell phone capable of receiving terrestrial digital broadcasts, for shipment to Vodafone KK.
The Panasonic model will come with a tuner to also receive analog broadcasts, making it useful for people living in areas where terrestrial digital broadcasts are unavailable. Sanyo’s model is also expected to have a similar feature according to the article. Both models are expected to cost about 10,000 yen more than current cell phones.