Saturday, June 11, 2011

Manila Standard Today: NTC order worries Japan

The Japanese government and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas have expressed disappointment over the slow pace of digital TV rollout in the Philippines. 
“Of course, we are frustrated but we have no choice. That is an important decision, so we just have to quietly keep an eye on discussions,” deputy chief of mission Motohiko Kato of the Japanese Embassy told Manila Standard in an interview.
He said the state order to review the digital TV platform and consider the second version of European’s digital video broadcasting technology was “understandable” amid a change in administration. The National Telecommunications Commission earlier picked Japan’s integrated services digital broadcasting technology over the European model in June 2010.
“Unfortunately, the platform was chosen when the Arroyo administration is about to end. The new administration wants to check what happened just in time when a new European technology emerged,” Kato said.
“It was not done behind the scene. It is really a transparent transaction,” he added, referring to the NTC’s decision to choose the Japanese technology.
Kato cited the need to finalize the rules and choose an official platform for digital TV, saying the Philippines was now “far behind the trend of digitalization.”
He said Japan’s ISDB-T has been adopted in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay last year. Japan is also in talks with Thailand and Indonesia on the adoption of ISDB-T in their transition to digital TV.
Kato said neighboring countries were closely observing the digital TV developments in the Philippines before making a final decision on the platform.
He said Japan’s ISDB-T was still superior over the newer version of the European technology. Japan’s platform, he said, helped during the recent tsunami phenomenon in Japan by sending emergency alarm via mobile TV.
“We are patiently waiting for the conclusion and hoping that the Japanese technology will be adopted at the end of the day,” Kato said.
KBP television committee chairman Atom Henares stressed the need to migrate to digital broadcasting.
“It is important for NTC to already come out with the IRR because we are all trying to meet the deadline set to the Philippines by the International Telecommunication Union,” Henares said.
He said some industry players had already prepared for digital TV after the issuance of a circular on the platform in June last year. - Jeremiah F. De Guzman, dated 10 June 2011
Source: Manila Standard Today

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