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AT&T Inc. has announced plans to launch
AT&T Mobile TV with Qualcomm’s MediaFLO (www.media
flousa.com). Wireless subscribers will have access to a selection of live, simulcast, and time-shifted full-length television programming on their mobile phones. FLO TV channels include programming from CBS Mobile, Comedy Central, ESPN Mobile, Fox Mobile, MTV, NBC2GO, NBCNews2GO, and Nickelodeon. At press time, the service was scheduled to debut in May.
AT&T’s service will initially launch on two devices: LG Electronics’ Vu and Samsung’s Access. In what looks to be LG’s answer to the iPhone, the Vu features a touch screen, a two-megapixel camera, Bluetooth capabilities, and a music player. Samsung’s Access features a landscape display and an internal antenna, and it offers advanced multimedia capabilities such as a camera, stereo speakers, and stereo Bluetooth. Pricing for the phones and the service were not available at press time.
While the announcement is good news from the telecom giant, the question remains: Is AT&T late to the game? Verizon Wireless customers have already been enjoying what MediaFLO has to offer since January 2007 through its V CAST service. (Vodafone also launched its service in 2007.) AT&T originally announced the service in 2006.
And while AT&T is just entering the game, Verizon Wireless recently announced plans to feature two new exclusive channels, MTV Tr3s, programming aimed at bi-cultural Latinos, and ESPN Radio. V CAST Mobile TV is available in most major U.S. cities, with plans to expand.
THE MOBILE TV LANDSCAPE
For news, blogs, and additional info on the Mobile TV space, check out the following:
Sprint Wireless (www.sprint.com/tv)
Mobile TV with Sprint TV programming features partnerships with the NFL Network, Disney, VH1, and Celebri
tyTV.com, as well as other exclusive channels.
T-Mobile (Europe) (www.t-mobile.co.uk)
Though not available in the U.S., T-Mobile has launched Mobile TV in Europe, which includes access to BBC, MTV, and Nickelodeon programming.
Rogers Wireless (www.rogers.com/mobiletv)
The Internet buzz on blogs such as www.phonearena.com and comment pages has been about how Rogers Wireless, formerly Rogers AT&T Wireless, may actually receive the LG Vu for its Mobile TV programming before AT&T does.