Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Qualcomm improves mobile TV service
Interesting and long expected enhancements (Time Shifted TV, Interactivity & broader range of subscription packages). Seems like its probably Qualcomm's last chances to make a success of Broadcast Mobile TV given the rise of network based MBMS for example which does not require any specific Mobile TV handsets which apart from content formats and biz models has been a challenge for broadcast mobile TV (the first two being generic for mobile tv).
GSMA Business Briefing
April 14, 2010
Qualcomm has expanded its mobile TV service FLO in an effort to increase takeup amongst US consumers. The company – best known for its mobile device chips – has enhanced the offering to allow a video-recording feature that lets users watch shows when they like. Time-shifted viewing, or ‘catch-up’ TV, is already popular via services such as the BBC’s iPlayer. Qualcomm will also let viewers buy the service by the day, rather than committing to subscriptions that cost US$10 to US$15 per month for a package of a dozen channels. Qualcomm will also add interactive features to its viewing software, to let viewers click for more information about a show or click to buy an advertised product. The new features will be available “across a range of mobile devices in the second half of 2010,” the company said in a statement.
Qualcomm’s FLO TV service is available in around 100 major US cities and offers content from the likes of CBS, CNBC, Disney, ESPN, FOX Mobile and MTV. However, mass-market success has not been forthcoming, partly due to the limited supply of compatible handsets. US operators AT&T and Verizon each offer two supporting phone models, whilst Qualcomm sells its own portable TV set (manufactured by HTC) for around US$200. Audiovox also sells an in-car entertainment system that can receive FLO TV. Qualcomm’s plans came on the same day news broke that twelve broadcasting groups including News Corp.’s Fox and Gannett Co. are forming a joint venture for a national mobile content service, using airwaves the US government wants to reclaim to expand broadband access. Stations owned by networks Fox, NBC Universal’s NBC and Telemundo, and Ion Media Networks Inc., as well as nine broadcast groups owned by independent businesses, are pooling spectrum to send live and on-demand video, news and entertainment programming.