SK Telecom is planning to enter the U.S. high-definition broadcasting market this year in partnership with Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the largest terrestrial broadcaster in the United States. The largest wireless carrier in South Korea will also promote such businesses as cloud infrastructure for broadcasting, over-the-top (OTT) video service with ultra-low latency, and personalized advertising.
SK Telecom announced on Jan. 12 that it has recently established a joint venture, dubbed Cast.era, with Sinclair to supply equipment that meets the U.S. digital TV broadcasting standard ATSC 3.0 and can transmit high-quality videos at a high speed. Sinclair’s Kevin Gage will join the joint venture as CEO and COO and SK Telecom’s Park Kyung-mo as chief technology officer.
Cast.era will supply ATSC 3.0 equipment to some 30 Sinclair-owned stations across the United States. SK Telecom and Sinclair expect that all of 1,000 or so broadcasters across the United States will adopt ATSC 3.0 equipment within 10 years.
The joint venture will combine SK Telecom’s telecommunications technology with Sinclair’s broadcasting infrastructure to focus on its three major businesses in the U.S. broadcasting market: the cloud infrastructure for broadcasting, ultra-low latency OTT service, and personalized advertising.
Until now, each local broadcaster has operated its own independent broadcasting system. However, when the cloud infrastructure is established, it will allow unified management of broadcasting stations across the United States through Sinclair’s base server, leading to a greatly improved efficiency of operation.
Cast.era will also unveil an ultra-low latency OTT service within the year and introduce personalized advertising through the collection and analysis of viewers’ big data.
SK Telecom and Sinclair are scheduled to build a testbed of 5G-ATSC 3.0 at Jeju Technopark in the first half of the year, and will apply the solution for test to Sinclair’s station in Washington D.C, the United States. They will also continue to make efforts to standardize technologies at the International Organizations for Standardization such as the Advanced Television Systems Committee (broadcasting), the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (telecommunications), and the Multimedia Application Format (multimedia).