South Koreans Want Their Subway TV

Stacey’s words from a year ago are still true, “Mobile video has taken off in a few places such as South Korea and Japan, but for the most part, press releases outnumber the viewers.” Especially in the U.S., where mobile numbers continue to be mini. (Of course when you start talking 2013 the global market estimates skyrocket upward.) But our friends in Korea now seem to be having a different sort of mobile TV problem.

The Los Angeles Times wrote today that Koreans are freaking out because their access to mobile TV in subways may be taken away. Some 10 million Koreans watch TV on a special mobile portable frequency, with no extra fee to watch underground.

Cellular companies pay subway companies $250,000 per year to make use of “transmission network gap fillers” so their customers can watch TV on subways. Now, as part of efforts to cut costs, the mobile networks will probably drop subway service. “I’d feel really bad if it went away,” said 47-year-old homemaker Lee Suk-hee. One TV provider went so far as to say that the government should bail out subway TV.

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