NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- AT&T Inc. (T) said it would launch its long-anticipated
mobile television service, powered by Qualcomm Inc.'s (QCOM) MediaFlo
technology, in May.
The move, which comes ahead of next week's CTIA Wireless industry trade show,
represents another feature beyond voice calls and text messages that carriers
are pushing in the hopes of augmenting their revenue streams.
The launch of the service comes more than a year after AT&T initially hooked
up with Qualcomm. It also follows Verizon Wireless, which brought out the
service a year ago.
The service will be available on two phones: the LG Electronics Inc. (
066570.SE) Vu and the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (005930.SE) Access. In
addition to standard channels such as Comedy Central and ESPN, AT&T boasts two
exclusive channels, but declined to name them.
MediaFlo broadcasts live video and audio streams over the air, which are then
captured by handsets with specifically designed Qualcomm chipsets. Unlike other
mobile video streaming methods, MediaFlo doesn't use a carrier's wireless
spectrum and is less taxing on the network. Instead, the broadcasts are beamed
via spectrum Qualcomm owns.
The carriers have said in the past that a broadcast model is more economical
than streaming long video clips on demand.
Qualcomm had recently beefed up its ability to broadcast the video signals by
buying additional wireless licenses in the just concluded Federal Communications
Commission spectrum auction. Part of the reason why the deployment of MediaFlo
has been slow is because of the lack of spectrum in certain regions.
- By Roger Cheng, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-2020; firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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