LONDON — Crown Castle International has renamed its mobile TV subsidiary Modeo LLC and said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas it would launch commercial services in 30 of the largest markets across the U.S. this year based on the Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld (DVB-H) standard.
The company was demonstrating the service at the CES in conjunction with handset makers such as Nokia Corporation and Motorola, as well as collaborators such as Microsoft, Philips, Intel and Kenwood.
However, the new Modeo subsidiary will not have the buzz surrounding mobile TV all to itself at the show.
Rival Qualcomm is also showing off its Media FLO network, which is based on its proprietary Forward Link Only technology. Samsung and LG Electronics will also be demonstrating the MediaFLO service on their stands and handsets.
Both operators have been conducting trials of mobile TV during last year. Modeo mentioned New York City as one of the early areas that would get the initial service during 2006, as well as Pittsburgh where it has been trialling the technology since early last year. The Crown Castle subsidiary is also kicking off a marketing campaign, 'Modeo: For the love of TV', to coincide with the launch, that according to Modeo president Michael Schueppert “emphasizes our focus on providing a fun and easy-to-use service that delivers popular news, sports, music and entertainment to a broad range of mobile devices including cell phones, laptops, portable media players, personal digital assistants and more."
Modeo plans to offer a package of live video and audio channels and be the world's first mobile broadcast network to support podcasting. Subscribers will be able to download dozens of video podcasts and hundreds of audio podcasts each week directly to their mobile device.