Crown Castle effectively pulls mobile TV plug

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Broadcasting and mobile infrastructure provider Crown Castle effectively pulled the plug on subsidiary Modeo's DVB-H mobile TV service, announcing it will lease its nationwide 1670-1675 MHz spectrum to a venture formed by Telcom Ventures and Columbia Capital for $13 million annually through Oct. 1, 2013. Crown Castle has transferred to Telcom and Columbia assets related to Modeo's New York City trial network, and will serve as the preferred provider of tower infrastructure as the spectrum is further deployed. Crown Castle will also incur a $10 million loss related to the Modeo project.

After more than three years of development, in January 2007 Crown Castle International finally announced the Big Apple beta launch of Modeo's live mobile TV service, which included live content from Fox News and Discovery Channel as well as streaming audio content from Music Choice. Despite lagging behind rivals MediaFLO and HiWire, Crown Castle said it planned to launch the Modeo network without pursuing carrier partnerships, instead focusing on securing wholesale partnerships with wireless operators--in April, Modeo president Michael Ramke said the company also was working on service enhancements including a video-on-demand service and increased interactivity. He also touted an FCC waiver, awarded in February, allowing Modeo to increase its transmission power.

For more on the Crown Castle spectrum dump:
- read this release