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Verizon to offer broadcast TV to mobile phones

Verizon Wireless has contracted with Qualcomm as the first mobile phone carrier to offer broadcast television to mobile devices using MediaFlo transmission technology. The service plans to launch in late 2006.

Qualcomm’s MediaFlo technology, which uses its own spectrum, frees the traditional mobile telephone network from the bandwidth burdens of video transmission, allowing live and long-form programming to mobile users. Due to bandwidth restrictions, Verizon Wireless’ current VCast service has featured only short clips such as news reports and music videos.

Another difference in Qualcomm’s technology is that it delivers signals only one way. The “Flo” in MediaFlo means “forward link only.” Again, this maximizes bandwidth.

The MediaFlo network, the AP reported, is being designed to deliver up to 20 live streaming video channels and 10 audio channels, as well as short video clips, across most of the nation using wireless licenses owned by Qualcomm.

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