Qualcomm has released details related to the dismantling of FLO TV, which will cease service March 27. Customers who bought FLO TV devices — a FLO TV Personal Television, Audiovox Portable DVD Player with FLO TV or FLO TV Auto Entertainment unit — and activated a service account may qualify for a rebate. To be eligible for a rebate, the consumer submits an online rebate form for each device; the amount of the rebate depends on the retail price of the device on the date of activation, and, if the device was never activated, proof of purchase. Checks will arrive between four and six weeks after the claim is validated. With regard to a rebate for service, the consumer needs to contact FLO TV customer care, which triggers a service disconnection within 72 hours. Service is prorated with any unused service refunded to the consumer’s credit card.
Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs first stated that the company would end FLO TV in July, saying that the company was speaking with prospective partners or buyers. Neither materialized, and Jacobs pulled the plug on the service, which went nationwide approximately 18 months ago, in mid-2009. Although Qualcomm spent well more than $1.5 billion to purchase the spectrum and launch the service, analysts believe that the spectrum is worth $1 billion on the marketplace. Whether Qualcomm will look to sell the spectrum or use it for another service remains to be seen.