SAN DEIGO: Just as broadcasters are launching their own mobile DTV effort, Qualcomm is honing its nomadic TV offering. The purveyor of FLO TV intends to cut by half the price of what its carriers are charging for it now, The New York Times reports. FLO currently is available on a limited number of handsets from AT&T and Verizon. Both providers roll it into a video package that runs around $25 to $30 a month. A FLO TV executive told the Times that Qualcomm is working on its own WiFi-enabled receivers for smartphones, as well as access to iPhones and BlackBerrys. The service price-point would be more like $10 a month, he said.
FLO TV, based on the MediaFLO standard, has been around for about four years. Verizon relaunched its VCast video service on the standard in 2007. FLO carries 10 feeds, including MSNBC, MTV, ESPN Mobile, Comedy Central, CNBC, Fox News, Nickelodeon, CBS Mobile, NBC Mobile and NBC 2Go.
Qualcomm announced the planned expansion of FLO earlier this month when broadcasters completed the DTV transition June 12, freeing up spectrum the company won during FCC auctions. FLO was launched in 15 new markets initially, with another 24 planned for the remainder of the year. Existing service was beefed up in several markets, including Washington, D.C., and New York, where broadcasters just launched their mobile DTV initiative.
— Deborah D. McAdams
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