Hong Kong IPTV Provider Trials MediaFLO

Wireless technologies and mobile data developer Qualcomm Inc. and Hong Kong communications services provider PCCW Ltd. have signed an agreement to trial MediaFLO mobile broadcasting technology in Hong Kong.

The technical trial period began in May and will conclude in mid-November and is for testing purposes only. The technical trial will test the performance capabilities of MediaFLO handsets for the PCCW now-TV network, and will allow PCCW to assess the potential business model for a commercial mobile television service based on MediaFLO.

PCCW launched now-TV in September 2003, and it is currently the world's largest IPTV deployment with an installed customer base of more than 800,000 in Hong Kong receiving more than 130 channels.

"We are at the forefront of new advanced interactive multimedia services and see mobile TV as a natural extension to our offerings," said Paul Berriman, CTO of PCCW. "The Hong Kong market is ready for this type of service, which is complimentary to our 3G-based interactive multimedia services, and we want to offer the best quality solution to our end-users."

Berriman said: "MediaFLO's demonstrated success in recent trials and deployments promises a compelling user experience that has the potential for widespread adoption in Hong Kong. This technical trial will evaluate our business model and content line-up with the goal of developing the right mix of services for a future mobile broadcast and interactive TV offering."

The trial announcement follows on other developments in the region for Qualcomm. China Network Systems and Taiwan Television Media are currently conducting a MediaFLO technical trial in Taiwan. In Japan, Qualcomm has formed a joint venture with KDDI called MediaFLO Japan Planning Inc., and Softbank has formed the Mobile Media Planning Corp. Both entities have been created to explore the nationwide deployment of MediaFLO services.