KDDI will establish a planning firm to study the potential of alternate mobile TV broadcasting business opportunities with Qualcomm Japan, according to press release [in Japanese] posted today. The joint venture, headed by President and Representative Director Masuda Kazuhiko, will launch on 27 December with 10 employees. Media Flow Japan, will be capitalized at 10 million yen, of which 80 percent will be put up by KDDI and 20 percent by Qualcomm. The joint venture will ask the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry for a frequency assignment after considering the profitability and service contents of the new business, as well as targeting a possible start date in late 2006.
Coming on the heels of the recent announcement with Verizon in the U.S. this move should not be a big surprise to industry watchers as KDDI and Qualcomm have a very close (CDMA) relationship here in Japan. The interesting angle will be access to spectrum, however with all the one-seg. mobile TV broadcast hype around that systems April 1st 2006 launch, this alternative may have certain advantages for the #2 carriers bandwidth allocation challenges, somewhat like what KTF in Korea is going through.
— WWJ Editors