Qualcomm backs FLO for multimedia content

Michael Carroll
16 Feb 2010

Qualcomm remains committed to its FLO technology for mobile broadcasts, despite the fact mobile TV services have largely failed to take-off outside the US, the firm’s European president Andrew Gilbert says.

The firm unveiled FLO-EV, the latest evolution of the air interface, to a select audience of journalists at the Mobile World Congress yesterday. It offers more channel capacity and will cost carriers up to 50% less to deploy than previous versions.

“We’ve seen people get excited with FLO-TV in the US,” Gilbert said, adding that the firm is “committed to broadcasting.”

Qualcomm is positioning FLO-EV as a means of delivering all multimedia content, including TV and datacasting. The technology offers a 3-5dB performance hike over previous versions, and is designed primarily for international markets.

The firm gave a taster of the kind of experience users can expect in live demonstrations using its Smartbook tablet PC during the MWC. The demos combined live TV broadcasts with real-time web content and social networking capabilities, and offered access to additional content including video clips and e-magazines.

Qualcomm says the demos are a vision of the future of connected devices, because users can access relevant content while watching TV and connecting with other viewers who have similar interests, such as following the same sport or team.

Bill Stone, president of Qualcomm subsidiary FLO TV, says the evolved technology “illustrates how mobile media and the web can come alive together.”

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