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FLO TV Adds SKUs, Sub Options, Recording

LAS VEGAS —FLO TV, a subsidiary of
Qualcomm, is preparing new products,
planning tiered subscription options,
and planning TV program downloads to
select FLO TV devices, the company told
TWICE here at CTIA Wireless 2010.

In new products, the live mobile-TV
service plans in a few weeks to ship the
Mophie-made Juice Pack TV, a first-ofits-
kind accessory that adds FLO TV tuning
to an iPhone and iPod Touch equipped
with a free FLO TV app, said product
management director Jeffrey Gattis. The
Juice Pack TV takes the form of a protective
case that incorporates FLO TV
tuner, a battery to extend iPhone/Touch
battery life by 70 percent to 80 percent,
and Wi-Fi to send FLO TV broadcasts
to the attached iPhone/Touch as well to
up to three more iPhones and Touches
equipped with the FLO TV app. Pricing or
shipment info were not revealed.

In May or June, FLO TV will announce
plans for multiple subscription tiers for
its handheld Personal Television, for
Audiovox-marketed in-vehicle FLO TV
systems, and for the Mophie accessory,
Gattis said. The options will provide
consumers with less-expensive subscription
options. For the Personal TV,
a subscription costs $14.99/month for
up to 20 channels, although six months
of service are included in the Personal
TV price, currently advertised by retailers
at $199. A prepaid three-year subscription
costs $8.99/month.

In another development, FLO TV is targeting
late-summer availability of download-
and-store capability for its Personal
Television, which incorporates 4GB of
embedded memory, and for cellphones
equipped with FLO TV tuner and memory.
The download-and-store capability,
which can be added to existing devices
via a software update, won’t be available
for in-vehicle FLO TV systems because
those systems lack memory storage.

Initially, the company might dedicate
some of its bandwidth to push previously
broadcast TV programs of its choice
to FLO TV devices for local storage,
Gattis said. In the future, the service
could evolve to enable consumers to
use a PC or a FLO device’s Wi-Fi to select
the programs they want to download
and store, he noted.

The company hasn’t decided whether to
charge extra for the download capability.
Also at the show, FLO TV displayed
Lenovo’s Skylight smartbook, due
sometime late this year, with canned
demonstrations of potential datacasting
services, such as sports scores and
Twitter feeds, related to live-TV programs.
Other canned demos demonstrate
the potential to use Wi-Fi or 3G
cellular as a backchannel to deliver interactive
services over the FLO network.

FLO TV expanded its 700MHz footprint
nationwide last July and the number of
FLO-equipped cellphones has risen to
12, from about seven to nine about a year
ago, a spokesperson said.