Mobile TV: Beyond The Cell Phone

Posted by: Olga Kharif on January 24, 2006

I recently talked with an executive from Qualcomm, which is building out a mobile TV broadcasting network that will go live this year. The idea behind the network is to beam video and radio channels onto cell phones of customers of Verizon Wireless and other carriers. But that’s just one idea. What’s less talked about is the possibility of mobile TV networks being used to beam video onto other devices.

A mobile TV network, such as the one built by Qualcomm or Crown Castle, could beam video into cars, onto portable video players, such as iRiver, and onto the iPod. And I actually think it would make a lot of sense for Apple and other consumer electronics makers to offer this capability.

Their gadgets have larger screens than cell phones, so they offer a much better viewing experience. And having mobile TV as part of the devices’ functionality could be an important point of differentiation.

I bet that, in the next few years, mobile TV will start competing directly with satellite TV, which already feeds into some cars, for instance. For satellite companies, the threat is all the greater considering that mobile TV is built for cell phones, so the technology will likely be less of a drain on the battery than satellite TV receivers.

DirecTV, EchoStar, beware.

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Reader Comments

scott shaffer

January 24, 2006 04:37 AM

I used to think mobile TV would be a dud of an application until I was included in the Sprint Ambassador program.

They give a free phone, free service package to people in the mobile industry to use and make comments. The phone uses their Power Vision (3G)network so all of these features are operable.

I find myself using mobile TV much more than I thought I would.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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