Word on the street is that AT&T Wireless will launch their MediaFLO-powered mobile TV service in the States ‘as early as possible’ in 2008. Launching with 8 channels – ESPN, MTV, NBC, CBS, and Fox among them, the service has apparently been testing really well. A slight delay is necessary to optimize the user experience, according to Mark Siegel, AT&T Executive Director of Media Relations.
Verizon Wireless currently offers a MediaFLO-powered mobile TV service in the U.S. for $13-25/month on top of regular mobile charges. MediaFLO is owned by Qualcomm, which presents an interesting challenge for Nokia. Nokia already has significant issues getting a handset launched on AT&T’s shelves. They also pioneered the DVB-H standard in Europe, and obviously hoped that the US market would also adopt DVB-H, instead of Qualcomm’s MediaFLO. If Nokia wants to launch a mobile-TV-compatible handset on AT&T now, they will have to license the necessary chip from Qualcomm, something which Nokia is also not particularly fond of.
Once the two largest carriers in the United States offer a mobile TV product, will we finally see any significant uptake with consumers, or will the pricing drive them away?