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Verizon uses mobile video service as leverage for spectrum buy

News by Dan Seifert on Friday March 30, 2012.

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Verizon Wireless has revealed that should it get approval to purchase the unused spectrum from cable companies that it proposed late last year, it would be able to deliver a mobile television service to its customers by the end of the year. Mobile television has been very popular in Japan and Korea, but it has never gained traction in the U.S. despite numerous attempts by various companies, including Qualcomm.

CEO Lowell McAdam said that if Verizon is allowed to make a partnership with cable companies, an "integrated" service could be provided to Verizon Wireless customers, users of Verizon's pay-TV service, and cable customers. Verizon announced its intent to purchase billions of dollars of spectrum licenses from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Cox Communications that it would use to expand its 4G LTE network.

The proposal has faced a lot of opposition and criticism from other carriers such as T-Mobile, which says that it allows Verizon to amass too much spectrum and makes it more difficult for smaller carriers to compete. The proposal has caught the eye of the Department of Justice and the Senate, which have both launched investigations into whether or not it is monopolistic or anti-competitive behavior on the part of Verizon.

Verizon says that its mobile television service could be offered with various options, including a la carte channel options."Most content providers realize that the number of channels and the layout that you have within your home may not be appropriate for the mobile environment, and those discussions are just beginning now," said McAdam to The Wall Street Journal. He brushed aside the notion that mobile video services would consume a large amount of data and be too costly for consumers, claiming that prices will drop and consumers will be willing to pay more for wireless services as they use their devices more.

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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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