CTIA Bits: Big Fun in San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- CTIA WIRELESS IT & Entertainment -- MediaFLO USA Inc. 's release of a dedicated personal wireless TV were among the early indicators here that companies are getting serious about mobile fun. (See FLO Unveils Handheld TV.)

Here's a sampling of other items making news here during the opening day of the show:

  • About that wireless TV from MediaFLO... Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) has previously only offered its FLO TV service on handsets through carrier and OEM (original equipment manufacturing) partners. The FLO TV Personal Television represents the firm's first attempt to deliver a standalone mobile TV player to the market.

    The touch-screen device has a 3.5-inch diagonal screen, measures 4.4x3x0.5 inches, and weighs just over 5 ounces. FLO says its battery supports more than 5 hours of TV viewing or 300 hours standby. The device will be offered with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $249.99 and subscription service that starts at $8.99 per month.

  • Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has also just revealed that it will launch a cheaper new "international" version of its Kindle e-book reader with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). The firm says the deal will allow it to offer global downloads across 3G GSM networks.

    The previous versions of the Kindle are basically U.S.-only products because they use the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) CDMA network. The latest deal will allow much greater international roaming capabilities for a user on the move, via AT&T and its global partners. The new Kindle is expected to launch on October 19 and sell for $279. In other news from the Kindle-sphere, Amazon has cut the price of the U.S.-only product to $259 from $299.

  • Verizon Wireless , meanwhile, is freshening up its V CAST multimedia offerings with a flood of new releases. On the content side, the carrier is teaming up with the likes of MTV Networks for TV shows and The Big Ten Network for college football games, and has juiced up its mobile game offerings.

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

  • lrmobile_kumaramitabh 12/5/2012 | 3:54:38 PM
    re: CTIA Bits: Big Fun in San Diego The FLO service is at present operating using just one or two channels ( UHF channels 54/55) across the United states, in the markets where it is available. By all accounts it is a very successful service. It is designed for mobile devices and is not an adaptation of a large screen technology to GǣalsoGǥ serve mobile devices. It provides nearly 20 video channels in a 6 MHz spectrum slot, which is way beyond its competitors. G
    The question is that why such an efficient service is not being used across more spectrum slots, delivering more channels? One reason is that the spectrum in UHF is very tightly held by TV stations. However that is not entirely true. The last dividend auction has resulted in many players getting UHF spectrum. One would imagine that with such an efficient spectrum use more users would be attracted.
    Another plausible reason is that the digital dividend spectrum is largely held by AT&T and Verizon, both with deep pockets. However is not interesting that it is these very players which are providing the FLO TV services under the VCAST and AT&T mobile TV brands? The same players wish to retain the spectrum for future services. is it to do with the licensing policy?It is also interesting that FLO has now started the direct to consumer initiative, which puts a question on the present sellers of the service, AT&T and Verizon. Is it because FLO will use all carriers? AT&T has a history of walled gardensGthe iPhone is an example. What future does FLO has on iPhones? Is the conflict of interest of 3G carriers such as AT&T and Verizon in data revenues too high with FLO? Why would they let the streaming revenues go away for the FLO services of $8.99 a month? What would be their approach to ATSC M/H services?
    It will be interesting to watch these developments.
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