ATT completes Qualcomm LTE spectrum deal
AT&T on Tuesday formally completed its purchase of Qualcomm airwaves. The $1.9 billion deal gives it access to 700MHz frequencies it will use to boost the coverage for its LTE-based 4G network. The extra spectrum's reach is wide enough to cover nearly all of the US, at 300 million potential users.
ATT buys FLO TV spectrum to bolster 4G
AT&T on Monday confirmed expectations and said it would buy Qualcomm's FLO TV spectrum. The carrier will spend $1.93 billion to buy airwaves in the lower 700MHz range to bolster AT&T's 4G download speeds in key areas, 12MHz of which focuses on major cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Another 6MHz covers a wider swath of the US and about 230 million potential users.
AT&T said to be in talks with Qualcomm
Qualcomm is involved in talks with AT&T to sell the former's spectrum for its ailing Flo TV service, tips hinted on Thursday. Two unnamed sources with knowledge of the talks told BusinessWeek Qualcomm talked with AT&T and other carriers, though their names and specifics were not revealed. Verizon and T-Mobile are not among them, however.
Leak has Qualcomm axing FLO TV by end of year
Qualcomm's plans to drop FLO TV may have been confirmed today by reports from sources on Monday that said the project was dead. Division lead Bill Stone allegedly gave notice late last week that the over-the-air digital TV group would ramp down by the end of 2010, paidContent's tips said. FLO TV's technology might live on as a generic white label service after talks with AT&T and Verizon, though these haven't been resolved.
Qualcomm job hints at possible CDMA iPhone team
A discovery today suggests Qualcomm has quietly begun hiring for what could be a deeper commitment to a CDMA iPhone. A position for an iPhone Developer Guru would come onboard to "develop the most challenging product of your life." AppleInsider's finding has requirements that center primarily around iOS development, such as Xcode.
Touchscreen, quick messaging, social networking
Samsung today brought out two new touchscreen messaging phones focused on social networks and AT&Tís Mobile TV service. Both the Eternity II and Flight II are graced by three-inch touchscreens They carry full HTML browsers and, in hardware, two-megapixel cameras, Bluetooth 2.1 and GPS. Either has microSDHC storage expandable to 32GB on the Eternity II and 16GB on the Flight II.
Moto 10-inch tablet would use TV to rival iPad
Motorola's rumored 10-inch Android tablet could have an unusual TV feature to lure buyers away from the iPad, anonymous sources said Tuesday evening. The slate would support watching TV and would have an unspecified link to Verizon's FiOS fiber optic IPTV. It's unknown if this would involve a FLO TV tuner, but with Qualcomm's planned exit an Internet streaming option is more likely.
Plans still unclear
As part of its quarterly financial disclosures, Qualcomm informed investors that it is attempting to sell its FLO TV division. CEO Paul Jacobs suggests Qualcomm has already begun talks with other companies regarding several "alternatives" for the struggling business.
AT&T gets Sharp-branded FX handset to lineup
AT&T today said it will soon ship a revival of the side-sliding phone in the the Sharp FX. Built for Sharp by PCD, the device combines both a touchscreen and a center slide-out hardware QWERTY keyboard. Similar in form and function to the popular Sidekick handsets, also Sharp-branded, the Sharp FX is meant for heavy messaging and social networking.
FLO TV to be interactive, add DVR, pay-per-day
At the NAB show on Tuesday, FLO TV said it was reacting to customer behavior by adding new features and apps that will bring more interactive content and more flexible viewing. It now has time-shifting capability, much like a DVR, and the newfound ability to subscribe per-day rather than by the month. On an Internet connection, viewers can also tap into extra info in video content, such as hitting a button for more information or even buying an advertised product outright.
Bitbop to offer paid, full mobile video
Fox today made a deep push into mobile video with first details of Bitbop, its own mobile video service. The platform will provide download streaming full-length TV shows such as Family Guy, as well as movies, over either a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. Access should be device-agnostic and will include an iPhone app as well as versions for Android and BlackBerry, although the Android version may be limited to the Motorola Droid on launch.
LG Arena for AT&T brings FLO TV on Feb 26
AT&T finished the week by adding to its mobile TV roster through the previously leaked LG Arena. The touchscreen feature phone appropriately supports AT&T's own 3G bands but also adds a FLO TV tuner for watching over-the-air subscription video on its 3-inch display. In its American guise, it further gets support for AT&T Navigator and the Social Net portal to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
Companies plan tuner-equipped iPhone, iPod cases
Case builder mophie will be collaborating with FLO TV on new iPhone and iPod touch case designs, the two companies have announced. FLO TV's namesake service allows handhelds to watch live and timeshifted TV programs, organized in terms of regular network channels or mobile-only ones, such as Adult Swim Mobile. Parent company Qualcomm recently demonstrated a prototype receiver which relies on Wi-Fi.
LG Lotus, DVD player to get Mobile DTV
LG today teased some of its plans for CES by showing the first two devices to use the new Mobile DTV standard for free over-the-air broadcasts in the US. Headlining these is a modified version of the LG Lotus messaging phone that adds an antenna and tuner to pick up live TV. Also on tap is a portable DVD player, the DP570MH, that will show as much as four hours of digital TV when on battery.
Proto FLO TV tuner gives iPhone live shows
Qualcomm has quietly shown an example receiver that would give the iPhone and iPod touch FLO TV reception. Despite assertions that the company would use iPhone OS 3.0 support for native hardware, the demonstrator mimics the strategy used for the Softbank 1Seg tuner in Japan and pipes video over Wi-Fi. The receiver itself is roughly as large as the iPhone, though it's unclear whether this is due to its prototype nature or to accommodate a larger battery.
FLO TV Personal TV ships with 6-months of service
Qualcomm's FLO TV Personal Television is now available in stores and online. The device as expected provides subscription over-the-air TV from a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen that the company now adds is oleophobic (oil-resistant). Programs are a mix of live and timeshifted shows from CBS Mobile, CNBC, Comedy Central, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, MTV, NBC 2Go and Nickelodeon. Some limited-time bonus channels will also be offered for special events, premium programs and original content.
Samsung Mythic, Flight coming to AT&T Nov. 8th
Samsung Mobile began shipping two promised touchscreen handsets on AT&T's network. The Samsung Mythic has a 3.3-inch touchscreen only interface and is the latest phone to work with AT&T's Mobile TV service. It runs on Samsung's own widget-based TouchWiz interface and brings top-level access both to the Mobile TV service as well as Facebook and MySpace.
ATSC Mobile DTV gets matching chip
The TV standards group ATSC today said its members have approved Mobile DTV, its over-the-air format made just for portable devices in North America. The gesture should let notebooks, smartphones and in-car units tune into free, live broadcasts of H.264 video even while moving at high speed. Although not HD, the format can run on existing digital TV networks without significant complications and is built to consume little power on the viewer's end.
Qualcomm intros FLO TV Personal TV
Qualcomm this morning made official its attempt to produce its own hardware with the FLO TV Personal Television. The handheld revolves around the company's own FLO TV digital broadcast TV standard and depends on a subscription that provides multiple channels of both live and delayed content, such as Comedy Central, NBC and Nickelodeon. The interface takes its cue from modern media players like the iPod touch and Zune HD by using a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen, although it uses a TV-like programming guide to pick channels.
AT&T intros two Pantech, two Samsung phones
AT&T today sought to address the limits of messaging phones with four new models that center on a new browser. The Pantech Impact and Reveal, as well as the Samsung Flight and Mythic, all have a new AT&T web browser based on Opera that not only renders HTML more accurately -- a rarity on non-smartphones -- but also uses compression to reduce the bandwidth overhead on the 3G network. It further provides shortcuts to location-sensitive news, maps and points of interest.
HTC Imagio official for Verizon
Verizon this morning launched a raft of new devices headlined by its first ever device to run Windows Mobile 6.5. The HTC Imagio takes advantage of the Microsoft OS' more touch-friendly interface and brings TouchFLO 3D, an improved version of HTC's in-house interface that brings contacts and other info to the top level. It's also Verizon's first smartphone-class device to support FLO TV and takes advantage of a large 3.6-inch, 800x480 touchscreen to show the live digital TV at its native resolution.
HTC Imagio for Verizon spotted, dated
The HTC Imagio XV6975 smartphone that will soon arrive at wireless provider Verizon has been spotted again, showing more details and the required Verizon branding. The phone will run on Windows Mobile 6.5, but lacks a hardware QWERTY keyboard. It will also be the first full smartphone offering in Verizon's lineup to support FLO TV broadcasts.
Qualcomm PTV caught in photo
Qualcomm's PTV media player gained substance today through a leak that appears to show a real prototype of the device. Although less elaborate than the concept drawing, it reflects the basic all-touchscreen design and the existence of a stand to keep the player upright for watching the player's signature FLO TV digital over-the-air video. A 3.5mm headphone jack and speakers are also visible in the BGR shot.
Audiovox, FLO TV to offer TV shows in cars
Audiovox has partnered up with FLO TV to bring the latter's live mobile TV service to cars, the two companies announced on Thursday. FLO TV (formerly MedaiFLO) was offered to mobile phone subscribers, and the new service, called FLO TV Auto Entertainment, will be offered before the end of 2009 through 12,000 new car dealers. Audiovox will supply the hardware to enable this, including a small antenna that is no bigger than a human hand.
Qualcomm PTV Player
Qualcomm is hoping to spark life in its over-the-air FLO TV format by launching a device of its own, a detailed leak notes. Although its digital TV service is already found in a number of cellphones in the US, the normally chip-only company is said by GDGT to be developing a Personal Television, or PTV, that would focus on its own FLO TV tuner. It would be dominated by a capacitive (finger-driven) touchscreen and might have a more natural interface with flicks and other gestures.
VCAST TV in San Francisco
Verizon today officially expanded its V CAST Mobile TV network to include key larger California cities. The FLO TV-based digital broadcasts are now available in San Francisco as well as Fresno and Sacramento further south. Channel selection should remain the same and provides a mix of both live and pre-recorded content from both kids' channels like NickToons and more mature content from CBS, Fox, NBC and others.
FLO TV iPhone In Works
Qualcomm today revealed that it's developing an add-on that could give several smartphones, including the iPhone, a tuner for FLO TV digital broadcasts. The communications firm's FLO TV head Bill Stone remarks to SAI that iPhone OS 3.0's support for third-party hardware has set Qualcomm to developing an external receiver that could give both the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as other smartphones, access to the over-the-air TV service. When it would ship isn't yet certain, as is whether it would use the Dock Connector or else attach wirelessly.