Qualcomm, AT&T Reported to Be in Talks for FloTV Spectrum
November 18, 2010
SAN DIEGO, CALIF. and DALLAS, TEXAS: AT&T
has been in talks with Qualcomm about the chipmaker’s now vacated spectrum, Bloomberg reports.
Qualcomm has licenses nationwide for Ch. 55, secured for its MediaFLO-based FLO
TV service. Qualcomm announced in October that FLO TV would cease broadcasting
in the spring of 2011. AT&T uses the MediaFLO transmission scheme for its
mobile video offering.
Qualcomm paid a reported $683 million for the spectrum over several years,
launching FLO TV in 2004. The service failed to catch on with consumers, so
Qualcomm started churning out dedicated receivers last year. It was too little,
too late, however.
Qualcomm executives said during the company’s July earnings call that
“strategic opportunities” in the form of partnerships or an outright sale were
being sought. The 6 MHz swath of radio frequency spectrum is now estimated to
be worth as much as $1 billion. Executives from neither company confirmed the
Bensinger and Ian King cited “two people with knowledge of the discussions.
AT&T Said to Hold Talks for Mobile-TV Spectrum Sale.”