When AT&T (NYSE: T) earlier this week made a $2.5 billion offer for assets from Aloha Partners, the deal didn’t just include 700MHz spectrum in 72 of the top 100 markets in the U.S.; it also included the assets of Hiwire, Aloha’s DVB-H-based mobile TV venture. The deal has raised questions over what the implications in the U.S. will be for mobile TV, and in particular TV based on the DVB-H standard, down the road.
Since AT&T is already building out a mobile TV service based on competing MediaFLO technology, and Hiwire was involved in one of the only big DVB-H trials in the U.S., AND the mobile TV take up to date has been far lower than expected, some believe the prospects are not so good. Red Herring takes the position that the spectrum buy was for two-way cellular services, given the $2.5 billion price tag. Tim Farrar, president of Telecom Media and Finance Associates: