FLO TV to add time-shifting and lurks on UK's horizon
Among a swathe of new features planned for the coming months, FLO TV is to add time-shifted programming in the US to allow subscribers to catch up on shows they may have missed first time around. In addition, there are strong indications that the Qualcomm subsidiary is to come to the UK the moment deals have been struck with third party partners.
Speaking from the company's San Diego base, Bill Stone, president of FLO TV Incorporated, told us that, thanks to two successful trials with BSkyB on its 40MHz of L-Band Spectrum (secured in auction back in May 2009), the company was in a position to talk to relevant interested parties: "We want to partner with people who are experts in the technologies, and who can make us successful", he said. "We'll be talking to cellular operators, pay TV operators, and content suppliers [in the UK]".
However, it is unlikely that this will result in the release of a standalone FLO TV device, such as its personal TV. Instead, it is likely to be a service offered by network providers or broadcasters through existing handsets and smartphones, such as the iPhone.
As previously hinted, it is expected that this will happen between 2011 to 2012.
In the more immediate future, the company is to add its time-shift feature in the US, and will be implementing several other upgrades to the software on its PTV devices over the coming months, including the ability to receive push programming on its 4GB internal storage.
FLO TV-compatible mobile handsets will also see social networking functionality and interactive data streams (weather, etc) appear in the coming weeks.
Stone was also keen to stress to us that the MediaFLO environment is capable of expansion to e-magazine distribution and other forms of media-rich content. Watch this space.