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June 19, 2009
2 Min Read
FLO TV, owned by Qualcomm, is rolling out its service now that the switch from analog to digital has taken place in the US. Qualcomm is working with OEMs to integrate the service into mobile phones.According to WindowsForDevices, the service has been available for a while in some markets, but it needs to broadcast in a range that had been occupied by channel 55 for analog signals and that was hampering its deployment. Now that analog TV signals are a thing of the past, they are rolling the service out and expanding in current markets.
As has been mentioned on this blog several times, Qualcomm is the maker of the Snapdragon processor that runs at at least 1GHz, and 1.3GHz processors have been announced. I guess the only hardware the phone needs to pick up the signal is an antenna that works in the 712MHz to 716MHz range. Everything else would be handled by the beefy Snapdragon processor and other components found on all mobile phones.
It will be available on Verizon's VCast service and AT&T's AT&T Mobile TV. It isn't free. AT&T's service is $15 per month for FLO TV, or $30 per month for FLO TV plus unlimited web browsing. Verizon has similar pricing structures. Channels include CNBC, The Comedy Channel, Fox News, MTV and ESPN Mobile.
There are a lot of "Mobile" channels being offered. I'd have to see what that meant before I considered paying for it. For example, CNN Mobile. What is that? Is it anything like CNN for Airports where you just get quick spurts of info that starts to repeat after 15-20 minutes?
I wonder what the battery life would be like as well. For me personally, I don't see a lot of use for this. I carry video around on my phone to watch just in case the opportunity arises, but it never does unless I am on an airplane, and FLO TV would be persona non grata once the cabin doors close.
Still, I can see this being of value to lots of people, especially commuters around large cities or frequent travelers in the airport lobbies enduring three hour delays, as I am right now.
No devices have been announced yet, and I am not sure why it seems limited to Windows Mobile at this time. Keep your eyes peeled though. WinMo 6.5 devices should be out in Q3 and a few of them may tout FLO TV in their specs.
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