Not surprisingly, QUALCOMM and Crown Castle are making noise about their perspective mobile TV networks, MediaFLO and DVB-H, at this week's CES. QUALCOMM, which has Verizon Wireless as a customer, announced Samsung and LG will build phones for MediaFLO. Crown, which renamed its mobile TV subsidiary Modeo, finally gave us a better understanding of its plans. It will launch in 30 cities by 2007 with plans to offer 10 video channels and at least 24 audio channels, though the company hasn't signed a programming deal or named any operator partners. It looks like Modeo is targeting markets beyond TV viewing on cell phones, naming everything from portable media players like Apple's iPod device to laptops to backseat car video players.
QUALCOMM, on the other hand, is staying focused on the handheld market and has said delivering video to bigger screens is a very different and more expensive economic. I wonder who is being more realistic. Targeting TV on cell phones only is risky because we don't know what the market will be, while broadening the offering significantly could be an expensive and complicated proposition. But these companies have more to be afraid of. Read the next story.