French broadcaster in mobile TV discussions with Qualcomm

Only days after revealing that consumer takeup of its MediaFlo mobile TV service was below expectations in the U.S., Qualcomm is reported to be in talks to launch the service in France.

According to the newspaper La Tribune, French broadcast infrastructure and services provider TDF is in discussions with Qualcomm about the possibility of adopting the latter's MediaFlo mobile TV standard in France. Having decided in 2007 to support the DVB-H standard, as backed by the European Commission and Nokia, TDF would be required to receive permission from the government before any deployment of MediaFlo.

Of note, La Tribune claimed that Qualcomm (not a company shy of commercial innovation) has apparently offered to pay 50 per cent towards the necessary investment if the technology is adopted.

This move by TDF follows an agreement signed earlier this year with MVNO Virgin Mobile France to launch DVB-H mobile TV services in the second half of 2011. The deal is said to have allowed Omer Telecom, the parent company of Virgin Mobile France, Tele2 Mobile France, Breizh Mobile and Casino Mobile, to be the exclusive mobile distributor at the launch of mobile TV services in France.

Separately, Qualcomm is said to have launched a portable mobile TV receiver without mobile phone functionality. The device, outsourced to HTC, is priced at US$200.

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