Friday, May 15, 2009

Uh Oh!, Verizon's Voyager Successor Has No FLO

According to a story on EngadgetMobile, Verizon Wireless's imminent & highly anticipated replacement for the LG Voyager, the LG VX11000 enV Touch, will not support V CAST Mobile TV (Verizon's flavor of Qualcomm's FLO TV mobile broadcast product). Does this mean that the #1 US operator is already phasing-out the product, which launched in Q1 2007, as they get ready to rollout their LTE 4G services later this year? Probably. Frankly I've aways questioned Verizon's commitment to FLO TV...they never marketed it very well (or much) and only ever made it available on a few devices. Other issues that have dogged the service, which does give the user a good viewing experience, are a limited selection of channels (with no time-shifting capability) and very uneven network coverage (doesn't work at my house...doesn't work on road trips). My guess is that Verizon has well under a million V CAST Mobile TV subscribers paying the additional $15/mo (on top of the unlimited data fee) and that the churn rate is pretty the revenue loss would be pretty insignificant in the scheme of Verizon Wireless's overall numbers. Assuming V CAST Mobile TV is indeed going bye-bye, hopefully someone at the carrier will read my post from Wednesday and think twice before replacing the service with another proprietary, subset of real TV service, that is destined to fail. Instead, let apps like SlingPlayer Mobile and (eventually) freeVOD sites like Hulu show subscribers how good TV can be on mobile over a high speed data network.

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