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AT&T plans MediaFlo mobile TV service for May

28 марта 2008

AT&T Inc said on Thursday it would launch mobile television services in May based on MediaFlo, a unit of Qualcomm Inc, in an effort to bolster revenue from services other than phone calls.

AT&T, the biggest U.S. mobile service, said it would offer MediaFlo to users of the Vu phone from LG Electronics and the Access from Samsung Electronics Co and plans two exclusive channels it did not name.

AT&T, which offers everything from music to Web surfing to help bolster its revenue as phone call prices fall, had originally said it expected to offer the service by the end of 2007. It did not reveal service pricing.

Spokesman Mark Siegel said AT&T waited until May to offer the service as it was "a brand new service on a brand new network, and two brand new devices." The company plans to reveal its pricing at the time of its service launch.

Its biggest rival Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc, already sells MediaFlo, which is broadcast live over a network built by chip maker Qualcomm.

Qualcomm, which sells technology licenses and chips for phones offering high-speed Web links, built the network to help kick-start the market for live television.

But some analysts said that mobile television was taking longer than some expected to take off partly because of weaker-than-expected consumer demand as the service does not blanket the entire country or work on all phones.

"There's still a question whether consumers are ready to watch a significant amount of TV on their handsets." said Stanford Group analyst Michael Nelson.

Источник: Reuters

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