Count down for the Shut down of Qualcomm FLO TV Mobile TV Service Begins
October 5, 2010 Leave a comment
As we reported back in mid summer, Qualcomm will finally shutter its FLO TV mobile TV subscription service by the end of this year. After hesitantly entering the direct-to-consumer side of the space just a couple years ago, Qualcomm is now cutting its losses on that front and is in the process of shutting down FLO TV.
The company is reportedly in talks with distribution partners AT&T and Verizon about the future of FLO TV, which launched via partners in 2004 and debuted its direct-to-consumer version in 2008.
There’s no doubt many in the industry will see the shutting down of FLO TV as a major loss for Qualcomm. The direct-to-consumer service was a small percentage of FLO’s overall business, but the company won’t say how many customers will be affected by the shut down. Also, job losses would be unlikely since Qualcomm tends to absorb shifts like this and moves employees around often.
Qualcomm still has multi-billion-dollar value in the 700 MHz spectrum used for the FLO TV offering, but it’s also spent billions building out an entirely new wireless network for mobile broadcast TV, developing the technology and staffing a workforce necessary for a first-of-its-kind nationwide service. The spectrum alone dedicated to FLO TV is “worth almost $2 billion.
Now that Qualcomm is putting its costly direct-to-consumer endeavor to rest, the company wants to pursue other wholesale arrangements that could take advantage of its network and MediaFLO technology.
I wonder how all this will effect the mobile DTV test project that started in the Washington, D.C. area early summer. Anyone?