Toshiba to shut down mobile broadcast TV service

Mobile Broadcasting Corporation, a subsidiary of Toshiba, announced yesterday that it will be closing down in March of 2009 due to weak consumer interest.

MBCO's service MobaHo! opened in Japan in 2004 and has only managed to gain around 100,000 subscribers since that time. Toshiba expected over a million subscribers by the fourth quarter 2007.

The service offers 8 video channels including TBS, Nippon Television News 24, and MTV, as well as 40 audio stations. Even though it was the first mobile TV service launched on the ISDB standard 2.6GHz band, it required a dedicated device or PC card to access content -- a limitation that slowed adoption.

A year later, Korea's SK Telecom subsidiary TU Media sold mobile handsets with integrated ISDB/S-band receivers, making it the first company to offer satellite television on cell phones. Adoption of that service proved to be much quicker than MobaHo!

TU Media now offers a number of handsets from LG and Samsung that support the satellite broadcasts.

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