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TV on Your Cell Phone

Boot Camp feature for Monday, April 5, 2004

TV on your cell phone. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Pictures on cell phones are here. So is music on some models. And while it doesn't really rival what you're used to seeing on bigger screens, TV is arriving on cell phones too. Phillip Alvelda is CEO of Idetic… the company behind the MobiTV service now being sold by Sprint…

"We have made a pretty profound leap to be able to deliver any kind of television at all in a live stream to a phone. And we're pretty happy to have gotten to a point where for the first time it's good enough. And as the network improves, the rate of pictures increases."

Alvelda isn't saying how many people have signed up for the service for an extra ten dollars a month. At Qualcomm, which makes the CDMA chip technology used by Sprint and Verizon Wireless, CEO Irwin Jacobs thinks cell phone users will eventually be channel surfing on handsets…

"We're actually demonstrating MediaFlow, which is a channel guide. Indeed, when you pick a particular program, you can see up in the corner of your cell phone screen the video itself. So a lot of the features and capabilities for watching video that we're used to on our television screens, you're now going to have on your cell phone screen. And it will be in a very convenient form…one that's always with you."

The video quality will improve as data networks get faster. Jacobs says true TV type pictures will be on your handset within two years. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.