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KT Skylife launches LTE TV for cars, buses

July 13,2017
KT Skylife, in partnership with KT, has announced a plan to tackle the interference frequently encountered on satellite TVs installed in vehicles.

The satellite broadcaster has joined forces with its mother company, mobile carrier KT, to resolve the problem using patented technologies on the back of fourth-generation long-term evolution connectivity.

Starting Wednesday, express buses, campers and SUVs subscribing to Skylife’s new service, dubbed Skylife LTE TV, will benefit from uninterrupted broadcasting of some 40 channels throughout a journey, technology that both companies claim is a world first.

Until now, Skylife’s vehicle TVs relied solely on the Mugunghwa 6 Satellite and were prone to disruption from poor weather conditions and vehicles entering tunnels.

“The rapid increase in the number of people camping and tourists means the demand for video content on the move has grown,” said Lee Han, managing director of KT Skylife, at a press conference on Wednesday at KT’s headquarters in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul.

Lee cited data from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, which showed that 5 million people went camping in Korea last year and the number of campers rose 20-fold from 346 in 2007 to 7,000 last year.

The number of users of KTX and SRT bullet trains also surged 22 percent in the past five years. In total there are 1.35 million vehicles that have the potential to either switch from the old service or newly subscribe, according to KT.

The uninterrupted service was made possible with several innovations. The satellite signal has been intentionally delayed by five seconds. This latency gives the set-top box more time to get rid of buffering. The satellite signal is also seamlessly converted to LTE in order to broadcast shows without any lag or interruption.

Users only need to install an antenna on the roof of the vehicle and place a set-top box and an LTE modem in the trunk. The antenna size has been reduced to one fifth of the current model, Lee noted.

The new service charges the same installation fee at 110,000 won ($96) and monthly fee of 15,000 won as before. From November a video on demand service will also be available with an additional charge of 3,000 won.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]