Wednesday, October 07, 2009

CTIA Is "On" -- Mobile/Wireless News is FLO-ing

The Fall's CTIA (mobile/wireless/communications) conference is now going on in my backyard here in San Diego -- and the mobile news is FLO-ing. As in Qualcomm's MediaFLO, among other things.

First, Qualcomm just announced what I believe is its first hardware device -- its FLO TV "Personal Television" -- a handheld device that has a 3.5 inch screen, is razor thin, and will sell for about $250. FLO TV is Qualcomm's live television initiative for mobile devices, and the company hopes that its new Personal Television -- which is NOT a smart phone -- will spur subscriptions to its service that streams 20 or so channels of live television (monthly subscriptions run between $10-15). The company hopes that there are enough passionate sports fans, among others, who "Want their Live TV" for those special events where "on demand" -- i.e., time-shifting -- isn't good enough.

Then, there has been a barrage of other mobile/wireless communications news -- perhaps the most exciting being a major policy reversal by AT&T. Specifically, in a major boon for consumers, AT&T will now permit Internet phone calling across their network and on the iPhone via services like Skype. Now consumers will have a real chance to substantially reduce their monthly phone bills ... and those exorbitant overage charges.

(If you ever have time, have I got a story for you in that regard from my recent family trip to Europe ... and as a result of streaming music from Rhapsody ...)