China has more mobile phone users than any country in the world — 431 million — and organizers of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics are looking to capitalize on that fact to broadcast the games to Chinese users. Trials of a DMB system for TV broadcasting will start in China next year to prepare for the event.
The technology behind the DMB system is Chinese-developed. Assuming the trial broadcasts are successful, a new satellite system will be activated at the beginning of 2008 which will allow the games to be broadcast across the country.
This, of course, isn’t a new idea. The World Cup was available on phones and served as a first test of the ability to make a major worldwide event available on a new medium. The scope of the ambitious Chinese plan, though, is what makes it interesting. The infrastructure that will remain after the games are over will have huge potential, and could put China well ahead of other countries in development of the technology.