Qualcomm Finally Launches MediaFlo In Its Hometown - InformationWeek

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4/18/2008
03:56 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Qualcomm Finally Launches MediaFlo In Its Hometown

San Diego, home of cell phone chip giant Qualcomm, is finally being blanketed by Qualcomm's MediaFlo mobile TV network. This comes some 14 months after Qualcomm's partner, Verizon Wireless, launched its branded V CAST Mobile TV service in other parts of the country. Why the long delay?

San Diego, home of cell phone chip giant Qualcomm, is finally being blanketed by Qualcomm's MediaFlo mobile TV network. This comes some 14 months after Qualcomm's partner, Verizon Wireless, launched its branded V CAST Mobile TV service in other parts of the country. Why the long delay?People seem to be making a big deal of the fact that Qualcomm couldn't get MediaFlo up and running in its hometown. There's one, simple reason why it is just now rolling out the network. The spectrum on which the MediaFlo network operates wasn't available. Now it is.

The MediaFlo TV service lets Verizon Wireless subscribers watch television shows from the convenience of their cell phones, wherever and whenever they want. AT&T is said to be launching its own mobile TV service -- also based on MediaFlo -- on May 4. I was able to see a demo of the service during CTIA several weeks ago, and it looks impressive on some of the Samsung handsets I saw. Excellent picture quality and near-instantaneous channel changes.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said in a prepared statement, "Qualcomm is committed to mobilizing an increasingly broad range of people's lives, starting with communications and now increasingly moving to entertainment and information access. Today marks a special milestone as we launch the revolutionary Flo TV service in San Diego -- the city that will be known as the birthplace of yet another defining mobile technology. With this launch of Flo TV, we are excited to provide San Diegans with the opportunity to experience the best of live TV on their mobile phones."

Some of the channels that have signed up with MediaFlo are: CBS, CBS College Sports, CBS News, Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox, Fox News, Fox Sports, MTV, NBC, NBC Sports, NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, NickToons, and Nickelodeon. Verizon Wireless offers 8 channels, and AT&T will offer a total of 10 when its service launches.

This is all exciting news, but it hasn't yet helped out Qualcomm's bottom line.

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