AT&T (T) Mobile TV: Another Product No One Wants

May 1, 2008 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Most research from Gartner, IDC, and Yankee Group, firms which follow tech trends, shows that people do not want to watch video on their phones. The picture quality is awful. No one can see the action in "Iron Man" on a one-inch square screen. Dropped signals mean TV show interruptions, just at the best part of "Desperate Housewives".

But, the phone companies persist. Verizon (VZ) already has a system and now AT&T (T) will begin a mobile TV product using technology from Qualcomm (QCOM) called MediaFlow. The Qualcomm tech was rejected by an EU standards board last year, but it is apparently good enough for AT&T.

According to The Wall Street Journal "The service, which will be available in 58 markets, including most big cities, will offer programs from several major TV networks, including CBS, Comedy Central, NBC and Fox."

It would be hard to imagine that rolling out the system across all of AT&T Wireless will not cost at least several hundred million dollars. The company might as well put that money in a pile and burn it.

Douglas A. McIntyre