AT&T Launching MediaFLO Mobile Service

AT&T is taking a big-time stab at mobile TV with the May 4 launch of AT&T Mobile TV with FLO service, powered by MediaFLO USA.

“This powerful new mobile television service will provide around-the-clock access to some of today’s most popular television programs—live and in color on the mobile phone,” the companies said in a statement.

To receive the signals—over MediaFLO’s dedicated network—customers will need to purchase on of two new handsets offered by AT&T, one each from LG Electronics and Samsung. AT&T would not comment on whether other future handsets, such as the next generation of the iPhone from Apple, would be able to receive MediaFLO.

The service will offer TV-quality programming from national sources including CBS Mobile, ESPN Mobile TV, Fox Mobile, NBC 2Go, NBC News 2Go, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, as well as Pix (from Sony Pictures Television) and CNN Mobile Live, which are both AT&T-exclusive channels.

The companies did not mention any local TV sources.

Additionally, for first 60 days, the AT&T Mobile TV service will feature CNCRT, a special concert channel delivered by Control Room, an entertainment producer and distributor. Every day, for 24 hours, the CNCRT channel will air one of approximately 30 recently recorded concerts from major recording artists.

AT&T Mobile TV will initially launch in 58 markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle and Washington, D.C. AT&T already offers wireless video offerings such as CV, which gives subscribers mobile access to thousands of on-demand video clips.

Monthly access packages for AT&T Mobile TV (not including the price of the device) begin at $15 a month, or as low as $13 for a limited four-channel package.

MediaFLO is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm. The company began a similar service with Verizon in 2007. According to the Qualcomm, MediaFLO now reaches more than 130 million customers across 55 U.S. markets.