Sanyo enters DTT mobile phone market



Sanyo enters DTT mobile phone market

Electronics manufacturer Sanyo has joined Japanese compatriot NEC to compete for the newly developing Japanese market in mobile phone handsets capable of receiving digital terrestrial TV.

Mobile phone handset manufacturers are expecting that mobile phones incorporating a digital terrestrial TV decoder will be the next big thing in Japan after the country launches DTT transmissions using Japan's proprietary ISDB-T standard in December this year. NEC launched a DTT-receiving UMTS (3G) prototype handset last month, pitching its marketing at Japanese commuters.

Sanyo's prototype CDMA2000 handset has similar functionality to that of its NEC rival, but is also able to record and play back up to 30 minutes of programming on a built-in 128MB flash memory. The handset is also able to display a TV frame in both horizontal 'portrait' and vertical 'landscape' format.

The handset has a single segment digital terrestrial TV decoder developed specifically for mobile handsets built-in, which directly converts an RF signal directly to a baseband signal with single frequency conversion, allowing smaller tuner circuit size with lower power consumption. It also adopts a diversity receiving system that using one antenna mounted on the body, and using an earphone cable as a second antenna, for stable reception.

As with NEC's prototype, the question of extended battery life for the Sanyo handset's commercial model is one that engineers have yet to find a solution. According to Sanyo Telecommunications' senior planning & engineering director Tetsuhiro Maeda: "One of the major problems of this prototype for the commercial launch is power consumption. We need to reduce power consumption to realize more-than-24-hour standby time, and 10 minutes talk time and 60 minutes TV operating time."