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Secure Transactions News

Mobile TV on a slow take off in the US

Thursday 8 May 2008

The LG Vu and Samsung Access are priced at US$ 299 (EUR 193) and US$ 199 (EUR 128) (only after signing a contract of two years) respectively. This new AT&T Mobile TV application is available to 58 major cities across the USA.

The programming was developed by Qualcomm subsidiary MediaFLO U.S.A., which aggregates the content and delivers it over an analog-TV 700MHz spectrum that it owns in 58 markets. Programs include full-length television content, sporting events and other coming from CBS, Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox, MTV, NBC 2Go, NBC News 2Go, Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures and CNN. This service will start at US$ 13 (EUR 8.37) per month. Unlimited mobile TV, mobile video and mobile web browsing will cost US$30 (EUR 19.33) per month.

AT&T’s launch follows the January 2007 launch of MediaFLO service through Verizon Wireless, with comparable offers. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs already admitted the take up rate of the Verizon Mobile TV service was disappointing. "It's not as nationwide as we would have liked," Jacobs added. "We're really waiting for February 2009 to get the real digital transition done."

Mobile TV has been available for three years in Japan and Korea. In Italy, one million people pay EUR 19 a month to watch up to a dozen mobile TV channels. Every day in Switzerland, 40,000 people watch a 100-second television news broadcast on their cellphones, thanks to a Swisscom offer for a 20-channel viewing lineup, which costs CHF 13 (EUR 7.97) a month. Britain is auctioning wireless spectrum this month that could be used for mobile TV. France plans to award a license for a 13-channel mobile video service in June to begin by the end of the year. In Germany, Mobile 3.0, an investor group led by a South African media company, Naspers, plans to start a video service this year.