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TV on a Cell Phone

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, April 20, 2005

TV on a cell phone. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. You may have seen video clips already on cell phones being sold by Sprint and Verizon. Those are just snippets of news stories, sports, or music videos. But the companies that make chips that are used in handsets and the technology used by carriers….say it won't be long before…for better or for worse…you can watch streaming TV on a phone. Qualcomm has taken the approach of buying a network of UHF frequencies around the country…that will be able to broadcast to cell phones. Paul Jacobs, who will take over as CEO of Qualcomm this summer…taking the reins from his father…tells us…

"We'll be able to have streaming TV, we'll be able to have audio coming down, we'll be able to do data casting so things like stock quotes and weather reports… all of these things will be able to show up on your phone. And over time, your phone will just automatically update and show these things on the screen of your phone even while you're not using it. Today, that screen goes blank. In the future, that screen's going to have all sorts of interesting multimedia information on it."

In the minds of some…there is still a question about whether consumers in the United States…want and will pay for all kinds of new services on their cell phones. Jacobs says…

"Well it's interesting, because people asked us, do consumers in the United States want data services? We launched a software download system called Brew on the handsets, we've launched it with Verizon. Verizon has publicly said that that's increased their revenues, on average per user, by 7 dollars and 50 cents."

Jacobs says the new network will be available to cell phone carriers in 2006. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.