Mobile TV's Weak U.S. Signal

The mobile media revolution has yet to take off, as MediaFlo and similar video services have failed to attract many subscribers

Back in March, 2007, the outlook for Qualcomm's (QCOM) $800 million bet on broadcasting TV signals to cell phones was all smiles. Verizon Wireless had just launched the first commercial service based on Qualcomm's MediaFlo TV network, an eight-channel package, for as little as $15 a month. At about the same time, AT&T (T) said it would introduce MediaFlo by late 2007. Qualcomm even revealed it was testing the service with British Sky Broadcasting, a coup given the European Union's decision to back a rival wireless mobile-TV technology. Several Asian trials were under way as well. In short, MediaFlo was on a roll; analysts began predicting Qualcomm might spin off the business with a public stock offering as early as this year.

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