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AT&T Reveals Mobile TV Details

5/05/2008 10:43:00 AM Eastern

San Antonio — AT&T Mobility launched AT&T Mobile TV service on May 4 in 58 markets and disclosed previously withheld information on  subscription prices, programming, and the price of the two handsets capable of receiving the 700MHz service.

The service, offering mostly live- and time-shifted TV programming from over-air and cable networks, was developed by Qualcomm subsidiary MediaFLO U.S.A., which aggregates the content and delivers it over an analog-TV 700MHz spectrum that it owns in 58 markets. During the recent 700MHz auctions, MediaFLO also won 700MHz spectrum in additional markets.

AT&T Mobile TV delivers full-length television content, sporting events and other from such networks and entertainment brands as CBS Mobile, Comedy Central, ESPN Mobile TV, FOX Mobile, MTV, NBC 2GO, NBC News2Go and Nickelodeon.

AT&T’s launch follows the January 2007 launch of MediaFLO service through Verizon Wireless.

In its latest announcements, AT&T revealed the following:

Two exclusive channels: The PIX and CNN Mobile Live channels will be exclusive to the carrier. CNN Mobile Live provides 24 hours of breaking news with live anchored coverage from CNN.com Live as well as streams of other CNN programs, including "American Morning," "Lou Dobbs Tonight," "CNN Election Center," "Larry King Live," "Anderson Cooper 360" and "CNN International."

PIX, using content from Sony Pictures Television, offers films from the studio's library.

"Our research revealed that news and movies were the two most popular program categories consumers wanted to watch on their mobile phones," said Mark Collins, consumer data VP for AT&T Mobility.

In addition, for 60 days, AT&T will offer exclusive access to the CNCRT concert channel, which airs recorded concerts from major recording artists.

Subscription prices: Monthly access starts with “a limited basic package” costing $13/month and delivering four channels: CBS Mobile, FOX Mobile, NBC 2Go and NBC News 2Go.

At $15/month, consumers get unlimited access to all channels as well as limited-time access to the CNCRT channel.

For $30/month, subscribers get all of the above plus unlimited cellular-band Web browsing and unlimited cellular-band on-demand mobile video.

Handset prices: The service will launch with two compatible handsets, the $299 Vu from LG Electronics MobileComm and the $199 Access from Samsung Telecommunications America. The prices include two-year service agreement and $100 mail-in rebate.

The rebates come in the form of a $100 AT&T promotion card, which is valid for 120 days after the date of issue wherever major credit cards are accepted. They can also be used to pay a cellular bill. They are not redeemable for cash, cannot be used for cash withdrawal at ATMs and cannot be used at automated gas pumps.

The Vu features 3-inch touchscreen with haptic feedback, microSD slot with 4GB support, 2-megapixel camera, AT&T’s Video Share one-way video streaming from the handset, telescoping antenna for TV reception, three hard keys below the touchscreen, and music and video player. It’s a quadband GSM/EDGE phone that also operates in 3.6Mbps HSDPA mode in the 850/1900MHz bands.

Samsung’s bar-style Access is also a 3.6Mbps HSDPA phone with Video Share, but it adds FM radio, 2.3-inch landscape screen and internal MediaFLO TV antenna. Other features include 1.3-megapixel camera and external stereo speakers. It’s a quadband GSM/EDGE phone with dual-band 850/1900MHz HSDPA technology.

AT&T Mobile TV’s 58 markets include: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle and Washington.

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