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Tuesday, Sep 24
AT&T launching mobile broadcast network, says tower deal close
- Using the LTE-Broadcast standard and spectrum it acquired from Qualcomm (QCOM) in 2011, AT&T (T) plans to create a mobile broadcast network to deliver video services to its subs. CEO Randall Stephenson hints the project has a 3-year ETA.
- AT&T's plans come even though Qualcomm's FLO TV mobile broadcast service (it used the spectrum sold to AT&T) crashed and burned in epic fashion. Nonetheless, Qualcomm is a major backer of LTE Broadcast, and is integrating the technology into its baseband chips.
- Qualcomm argues LTE Broadcast's broader chip/phone support, integration with existing LTE networks and spectrum, and ability to let carriers quickly change what kind of content is broadcast at a particular base station will allow it to succeed where FLO TV failed.
- Stephenson also mentioned AT&T is close to selling its wireless tower assets. A sale could yield AT&T ~$5B in cash it could use to either pay down debt or make a European acquisition.
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