Following the FLO Forum's approval of QUALCOMM's MediaFLO, Verizon Wireless has signed on as the technology's first major carrier. The companies have not discussed the types of content that might be featured, but originally QUALCOMM said the service would offer a choice of channels like those offered on cable television. Verizon subscribers with FLO-enabled handsets will get a "real-time TV-like experience" after QUALCOMM's $800 million MediaFLO network launches late next year. Verizon Wireless said it plans to offer the service in half of the markets where it already provides mobile voice services. The carriers' subscribers already have access to content from V Cast, but since V Cast runs over the carrier's cellular network the programming is rather limited. The companies claim the dedicated FLO network will enable delivery of up to 20 live streaming video channels and 10 audio channels as well as some short on demand features.
Previously the word was Sprint Nextel had been in talks for MediaFlo and Verizon Wireless was going the DVB-H route, but the supposed couples switched partners. That's good news for Verizon Wireless since the company's V Cast has left the mobile TV community nonplussed. MediaFlo promises a much richer offering and Verizon is getting a near free ride from QUALCOMM since the company is building the network on its own dime.
For more on the Verizon Wireless MediaFlo deal:
- see this article from The San Diego Union-Tribune
ALSO: Norwegian broadcaster NRK and Ericsson launch test of interactive television over the mobile handset. Article