Home > Babak Jafarian, Mobile > End of FLO TV and Mobile TV

End of FLO TV and Mobile TV

After six years and spending more than two billion dollars, Qualcomm finally signaled it may give up its costly adventure; FLO TV. Paul Jacobs mentioned, “You know, there are people who love it, but the numbers are not nearly what we expected”. Well, there people who are interested in anything, it is the number of those people that makes the difference. Although technology companies try to make it a technology issue, in reality mobile TV failure is a consumer issue. The hype started around 2002 when mobile data networks were mushrooming all around the world without any killer application in the horizon. While most of the operators were migrating to 3G, data network utilization was less than 10%. Operators were spending their CapEx for data coverage enhancement, but analysts and people familiar with mobile traffic engineering were wondering what is going to fill the promised “fat pipes”. Mobile TV and different flavors of it; including parallel broadcasting networks like FLO TV, came out of the shadows as the messiah of data networks; the ultimate killer application that will utilize all mobile data channels. After years of underutilization and expensive investment, it was during 2008-2009 time period that finally thanks to iPhone and other smartphones data networks started to find their killer application and ultimate usage. Mobile TV was just a promise for a very sad period of time for mobile data networks. Those days are passed and belong to history; same as mobile TV.

  1. July 30, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I took a very generic approach to explain the successes and larger number of failures in the high technology marketing domain. I have developed a framework of postulates to design the marketing success of high technology services and have successfully applied to explain the potential success of Mobile TV. A few tips for the readers
    1. Mobile TV addresses a different need than the Living Room TV
    2. It addresses a need that can be referred to as Entertaining Companionship
    3. Mobile TV will finally evolve as Enhanced Radio

  2. Vino
    August 4, 2010 at 7:04 am

    It was always risk. Cuturally Mobile TV was more acceptable in Japan & Korea. Maaybe it will come back in 10 years

  3. David Chamberlain
    August 4, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Mobile TV is not dead. Bad business models are, though. If mobile TV means spending $15 a month on 12 channels, then it should be dead. If mobile TV means it has to be viewed on a cellphone instead of some other device, then adios, mobile TV. Of course, watching Mobile TV would be a lot easier if the carriers actually sold compatible phones, which, apparently, they have no interest in doing.

    If MediaFLO really is dead, at least it’ll stop distracting us from what REAL mobile TV will be. Look for local broadcasters offering Mobile DTV and portable devices in appliance stores, not cellphone- and cellular carrier-centric technologies

  4. Mike Gauba
    August 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Mobile TV will struggle as an applicataion on Mobile Phone because telephony has a very strong value proposition in our minds and Mobile Phone, hence, will struggle as a secondary application all through its life cycle. For more I will encourage you to visit 18003Gguru.com. Mobile TV finally got some traction in Korea as a dedicated gadget and not as a convergent solution

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