QUALCOMM is using the eight licenses it acquired in the recent FCC 700MHz spectrum auction to expand content and service choices on its MediaFLO USA FLO TV mobile television service.
The company purchased licenses in the E block covering the Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco metropolitan areas, doubling its 700MHz spectrum holdings throughout a footprint of more than 68 million people for the FLO TV service.
Gina Lombardi, president of MediaFLO USA, told “Mobile TV Update” in an interview that the additional spectrum allows her company to offer more mobile TV packages and services targeted at specific demographics. “Just as with broadcast TV, everybody only watches so many channels; so what we can do now is put together a sports package or a family package or a kids’ package. It gives us a great deal more diversification in packaging, pricing and targeting our services.”
While FLO TV services are already available in the regions covered by the newly acquired licenses, the additional spectrum gives MediaFLO USA greater network capacity, allowing for the creation of new types of services and packages. Among these, Lombardi said, may be more clip and datacasting services, and possibly local content. Those advocating competing mobile TV technologies in the United States — most notably the potential A-VSB and MPH standards — have used the lack of local content on FLO TV as one of the main reasons broadcasters and mobile operators are better suited for domestic mobile TV distribution.
In addition to the E-block licenses, QUALCOMM won the B-block in the California-Imperial, New Jersey-Hunterdon and Yuba City, CA, cellular market areas. It has offices in each of these regions and will use the B-block spectrum for research and development purposes.
The FLO TV service is currently offered through Verizon Wireless’ V CAST mobile TV package. AT&T plans to launch its own mobile TV service using FLO TV next month.