Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM) has won a slice of wireless spectrum in the U.K., Britain’s Office of Communications announced today. The spectrum is suitable for mobile TV, wireless broadband, and satellite radio. We expect Qualcomm to use the spectrum to bring MediaFlo, its mobile TV service, to the U.K.
Will it sell? It hasn’t in the U.S. And anywhere Qualcomm tries to sell it, they’ll have the same challenges: Limited content choice; new, custom phones required; and a steep monthly fee.
One reason to be optimistic: U.K. mobile subscribers are more likely to already watch video on their phones than their U.S. counterparts. Almost 10% of U.K. subs watch TV on their phones, versus 6% in the U.S, according to research firm M:Metrics.
We’re bullish on mobile video, but not necessarily MediaFlo. We think short, on-demand video “snacks” are what people will most enjoy watching on their phones — not full-length, scheduled, over-the-air TV like MediaFlo.
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