DTV Delay Slows Qualcomm's MediaFLO Expansion to a Trickle

Qualcomm today trumpeted that its MediaFLO mobile over-the-air television service has launched in three new markets; Atlantic City, N.J.; Greensboro, N.C. and Wilmington, Del., now have access to MediaFLO and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show on certain AT&T or Verizon phones! But the trumpeting falls flat given that by now — a month and half after broadcasters were supposed to transition from analog to digital television signals — Qualcomm still can’t launch in the larger markets of Houston, San Francisco, Miami and Boston. It was hoping to cover an additional 60 million people, but in its release today touts just 10 million.

The chipmaker had the most to lose when the feds decided earlier this year to delay the transition from analog broadcast signals to digital by four months, because it already had its equipment and people in place to launch MediaFLO in several markets. It was most eager to launch MediaFLO in the larger markets of San Francisco, Houston, Miami and Boston; it even tried to work out a deal with the government to make it happen. So Qualcomm’s taking the lemons handed it by the DTV delay and making lemonade. But that’s not going to help MediaFLO cover more of the population before June 13 when the current DTV transition is supposed to occur.

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