Technology Standards Developed for Music Delivery System over Mobile Phones

-- Download and listen to your favorite music on your mobile phone -- anytime, anywhere --

Tokyo, December 9, 1999 -- SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., Hitachi, Ltd. and Fujitsu Limited today announced that they have developed technology standards for a system called keitai de myujikku ("Music on Your Mobile") to deliver music to mobile phones. The standards are based on UDAC-MB, a general content protection technology developed by the three companies, and comprise security guidelines and the following three technology standards:

Sanyo, Hitachi and Fujitsu, which support the Secure MultiMediaCard standard, will begin actively appealing to mobile phone operators, developers of related devices and content holders to adopt these technology standards and introduce new services based on them. Such services would enable mobile phone customers to use handsets developed according to the standards to access their favorite music through a simple procedure (recording it on a Secure MultiMediaCard) and enjoy listening to it at any time.

Infineon Technologies AG, which invented the MultiMediaCard, will support the worldwide standardization of the Secure MultiMediaCard standard. Together with European partners, such as content providers, device manufacturers, service providers and card manufacturers, Infineon will promote the standardization of security concepts for the download of content.

Infineon Technologies and Hitachi will jointly develop, manufacture and promote comercialization of the Secure MultiMediaCard. Infineon Technologies will also offer secure solutions for ROM cards to fit the UDAC-MB standard.

Mobile phones developed according to the new standards would be the first in the industry to offer three functions on one handset: voice telephony, music download, and portable audio player. This infrastructure would give users ready access to everything from the latest popular hits to their favorite old melodies -- all available anytime and anywhere with compact disk-quality sound.

These standards were developed with full consideration for the requirements of content holders, the convenience of users and the wishes of mobile phone operators. As a result, they comply with legal requirements for distribution, copying and playback of digital content and accommodate a variety of content distribution formats.

The use of these standards makes it possible to offer a new kind of music delivery service with the mobile phone as its core. For example, content holders can distribute encrypted music on CDs or other formats at no charge, and by marketing just the playback license keys through mobile phone operators, they can acquire new sales channels and expand their business. In addition to benefiting the mobile phone industry, application of the standards opens up the possibility of linkages with music retailers, who could use the system to offer music delivery to mobile phones from in-store kiosk terminals.

Social Background

At present, mobile phones and portable audio players have achieved broad market penetration in Japan, especially among the younger generation, which drives the music business. According to a survey conducted by Sanyo, approximately 90% of young people in their twenties own mobile phones, and about 80% of them also own portable audio players. Mobile phone operators all offer their own unique services, and it is expected that companies will increasingly compete on the basis of their different services. At the same time, the data communication speed of mobile phones is also increasing. Under the circumstances, the "Music on Your Mobile" music delivery service is seen as an ideal application for the next generation of mobile phones. It is also expected that the availability of a new type of mobile handset that also incorporates a download terminal and portable audio player will cause the market for such a service to grow rapidly.

Technology Background

Amidst growing calls for network-delivered digital music service, there remains considerable anxiety about how to prevent illegal copying and distribution, and content holders have not yet implemented such a full- fledged digital music delivery system. At present, specifications for copyright protection technology to counteract such illegal activities as downloading music onto a personal computer via the Internet are being promoted through the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI).

Sanyo, Hitachi and Fujitsu have developed UDAC-MB, a general content protection technology that offers greater security than conformity to the SDMI specifications can provide. And based on UDAC-MB, they have also cooperated in developing "Music on Your Mobile," a content delivery formula optimized for mobile phone sets and the mobile phone networks that are rapidly realizing high-speed data delivery services. Based on this formula, they have devised new technological standards for mobile phone handsets, content protection Secure MultiMediaCards, music delivery servers, and technology for preventing illegal acts.

Technical Features

 (1) Secure and flexible UDAC-MB content protection technology
UDAC-MB is a technology that securely manages the exchange of the license key between the delivery server system, Secure MultiMediaCard and internal decoder chip (music playback chip) in the mobile phone handset, thereby effectively preventing illegal content use while offering flexible service for the user. Content is distributed to the Secure MultiMediaCard after being encrypted by means of a symmetrical key encryption method, and the license key is encrypted using the same method as well as a public key encryption method. Use of special tamper-resistant technology for only the Secure MultiMediaCard and the decoder chip ensures a highly secure structure whose internal mechanisms are extremely difficult to analyze or modify.

  [1] User-friendly content protection formula

  [2] Illegal copying and playback prevention functions give content holders peace of mind.

  [3] High-level security together with openness

 (2) Secure MultiMediaCard with content protection functionality
As recording media for the "Music on Your Mobile" music delivery system, the three companies have developed technical standards for a content protection-capable Secure MultiMediaCard.

  [1] Equipped with high-level security functions
In order to use a Secure MultiMediaCard as the recording media for music delivery, the card itself must not only have encryption/decryption functionality but the license key used for encryption-decryption must be located in a secure sector of the card. The new Secure MultiMediaCard developed by the three companies realizes the level of security required for a music delivery system (SDMI compatible) by introducing these technical features into an existing MultiMediaCard and also adding a content protection command set.

  [2] Maintains compatibility with existing MultiMediaCards In order to preserve upward compatibility with MultiMediaCards, the exterior form, including thickness, has been kept identical to them. As a result, the new card can be used not only in new types of equipment that require content protection capability but also as a conventional MultiMediaCard.

  [3] Realizes high-speed input
In the scenario of high-speed download at record store kiosk terminals, the companies foresee rapid download rates of 2Mb/sec. in 2000 and 20Mb/sec. in 2001. At the latter speed, one hour of music (approximately 60Mb) could be downloaded in about 3 seconds.

  [4] Promotion of international standardization
Hitachi, Infineon and Sanyo have proposed to the MultiMediaCard Association (MMCA) that secure media cards based on the new Secure MultiMediaCard's standards be adopted as an open standard for content protection-capable Secure MultiMediaCards. This technology is suitable for use not only for music delivery but also is readily adaptable for delivery of written work, images and other types of digital material where content protection is necessary.

The 16Mb version of the new Secure MultiMediaCard will be commercially available in the second quarter of 2000. Following this, 32/64Mb products will be available in the second half of 2000, and a 128Mb product in 2001.

 (3) Mobile telephones that record and play back music
Sanyo, Hitachi and Fujitsu have set specifications for a mobile telephone that is able to download music and record it onto a Secure MultiMediaCard as well as play it back. In addition to the functions of a conventional mobile telephone, this totally new type of mobile telephone can be used as a portable audio player, enabling users to enjoy a never-before kind of music delivery service.

  [1] Can be used as mobile phone, portable audio player or a home stereo
When used with a headphone, the handset becomes a portable audio player. Speakers can be plugged into the headphone jack, enabling the device to be used as a home stereo player. And recorded music can even be played back during a phone conversation as background music.

  [2] Calls get through even while listening to the music
If a phone call comes through while the user is listening to music, the ringer is activated so no important messages will be missed.

  [3] Can display lyrics music is playing
While listening to music, users can display the song lyrics and other information on the performer, song titles, etc. on the phone's display.

  [4] Download resumes from the point at which it was cut off in case of severed connection
If the user is cut off by a bad connection during a download, he can continue the download from where it was cut off without having to start over again from the beginning.

Explanation of Terminology

UDAC-MB (Universal Distribution with Access Control - Media Base) A content protection technology which delivers content to a Secure MultiMediaCard or other media, providing a convenient and legal way for users to create and replay copies with each other. Realization of this technology is based on a method for independent delivery of license key and encrypted content.

SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative)
An organization established in February 1999 to set technical standards for the prevention of illegal copying of digital music. Has over 110 members, including content holders such as RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America) as well as hardware, software and systems companies.

Playback license key
Information encrypted by a public key that is unique in each Secure MultiMediaCard, a portion of which is used as secret key to decrypt encrypted content. Accessed over the network or other means through purchase or legal transfer, the information is recorded on a Secure MultiMediaCard. Encrypted content can be decoded at playback only if the license key is safely transferred to the proper decoding chip.

Symmetrical key encryption method
An encryption method that uses the same key for both encryption and decoding of data. Another example is the DES (Data Encryption Standard), a de facto international standard developed by IBM.

Public key encryption method
An encryption method that uses different keys when encrypting and decoding. A complex algorithm is utilized to search from one key to the other. When concealing data, the key used for encryption is publicly distributed. RSA, an international de facto standard named for its developers (Rivest, Shamir, Adleman) is an example of this method.

Tamper Resistant Technology
Technology which physically and logically impedes the analysis or alteration of semiconductor chips or other devices or software. For example, the interior of the chip can be secured in a sticky coating, such that any attempt to scrape it off will destroy the internal circuits; or "dummy" circuitry can be installed. For example, this technology has recently been used for a smart card charge system.

Content Protection Command Set
A dedicated encoding command set used for content protection in Secure MultiMediaCards. Includes commands such as ENCRYPT and DECRYPT.

MultiMediaCard Association
A standards association for the world's smallest, lightest multimedia Secure MultiMediaCards. Currently has about 60 corporate members. Further information at:

[ Home | Contact | MobiChat | Experts database | Let's do it ]

Comments to the content of this page can be posted on the MobiChat discussion group

logo.gif (1569 bytes)