The Union-Tribune’s Mike Freeman has a story today about Qualcomm’s Flo TV, the San Diego-based wireless giant’s new technology that brings television to cell phones. The company has poured tons of cash and hype into the technology, but has had to cool its jets on a nationwide rollout since Congress voted in February to delay the big changeover to digital television.

Freeman’s story explains the delay and questions whether Qualcomm’s $800 million bet that people will pay for television in their cell phones will pay off. Here is an excerpt:

Skeptics are doubtful that subscriptions will work. Smart-phone users can pull clips off Web sites, such as YouTube and Hulu, now at no additional charge, which may be the way cell phone users choose to bring video to the small screen…

Flo TV, which is available through Verizon and AT&T, costs about $15 a month. Each carrier has a handful of phones that contain the Qualcomm chip that makes Flo TV work. The company packs about 15 channels into the spectrum that used to carry Channel 55.

Now that Flo TV will have a full nationwide footprint, AT&T and Verizon are expected to put more muscle behind marketing campaigns to attract subscribers to the fledgling service.

DAVID WASHBURN

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