Japan regulators favor ISDB-Tmm, not MediaFLO, for mobile TV


A Japanese government advisory panel said it favors operator giant NTT DoCoMo's proposal to run a next-generation mobile broadcasting service based on ISDB-Tmm technology, shooting down carrier KDDI's rival plan powered by Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) MediaFLO solution. The advisory panel announced Wednesday that it feels the homegrown ISDB-Tmm technology (developed by DoCoMo in conjunction with local broadcasters) will make it easier for content providers to deploy multimedia efforts across the mobile platform, adding that the carrier has already secured locations earmarked as base stations. Japanese legislators are expected to formally endorse NTT DoCoMo based on the panel's recommendation.

Qualcomm revealed in July it is in negotiations to divest its FLO TV mobile broadcast unit, admitting consumer adoption has failed to meet expectations. Chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs said the company is exploring "a number of alternatives" for FLO TV, including discussions with prospective partners. "It will get done in the next year but I don't think I can be much more specific than that," Jacobs said. "A lot of interesting discussions. It's early days."

Qualcomm first indicated its interest in unloading FLO TV this summer during the company's Uplinq 2010 developer conference in San Diego. At that time, Jacobs explained it was never Qualcomm's intention to become the service provider operating FLO TV, which delivers mobile TV programming to operators like Verizon Wireless and AT&T. He also reiterated previous comments that it is likely the MediaFLO solution will expand beyond its broadcasting focus into a more general data delivery platform for connected devices.

For more on Japan's mobile TV decision:
- read this Wall Street Journal article

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