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Verizon Wireless provides details on MediaFLO mobile TV

As expected, Verizon Wireless announced in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas details of its planned mobile TV service, which will run on Qualcomm Inc.’s MediaFLO mobile TV network. Verizon Wireless did not disclose what it will charge for the service, but did unveil two phones for the service as well as the offering’s initial channel lineup.
“Vcast Mobile TV isn’t just a place-holder for broadcast programming on the mobile phone–it is the best of television programmed specifically for the mobile customer with great programs, the way they were meant to be seen, on your mobile phone,” said John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Verizon.
Verizon said the service will offer “the best of broadcast and cable television,” including shows from CBS, Comedy Central, Fox, MTV, NBC News, NBC Entertainment and Nickelodeon. The programming will be presented in “time block” availability, consistent with cable and satellite TV models, in both Eastern and Pacific time zones.
The service will work on Verizon’s newest two phones, the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. SCH-u620 and the LG Electronics Co. Ltd. VX9400.
Verizon Wireless said it will launch the service in “major U.S. markets in the first quarter of 2007,” but did not give details.
The announcement was expected, as several media outlets reported the news ahead of Verizon Wireless’ official announcement. Verizon Wireless had previously disclosed its intention to launch a mobile TV service using Qualcomm’s MediaFLO network sometime early this year.
While Verizon appears to be the first U.S. wireless carrier to launch a dedicated mobile TV network, the rest of the nation’s major players may not be far behind. Sprint Nextel Corp. is trialing Qualcomm’s MediaFLO offering, as is T-Mobile USA Inc. T-Mobile USA is also considering technology from DVB-H provider Hiwire, the mobile TV business of Aloha Partners.

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