US mobile TV platform gets dumped

US-based network infrastructure firm Crown Castle has offloaded Modeo, its DVB-H mobile TV venture in New York City.

The firm, which owns and operates radio towers in the US and Australia, said that it has entered into a lease of its US nationwide 1670 – 1675MHz spectrum. The Spectrum will be leased to a venture formed by Telcom Ventures, LLC and Columbia Capital for $13m per year until October, 2013.

When the lease expires, the venture will have the right to acquire the spectrum for $130m.

Under the deal Crown Castle has transferred the assets of Modeo to the venture and will be the preferred provider of tower infrastructure for future tower sites as the spectrum is deployed further.

Crown Castle expects to incur around $10m in operating and general administrative costs in 2007 related to the spectrum and its Modeo operations. The company expects to write off all or substantially all of its Modeo assets, other than its spectrum, in the third quarter.

Modeo switched on its beta mobile TV service based on the DVB-H platform in January, offering commercial quality mobile TV in New York. The beta service included live video content from network programmers Fox News, Discovery Channel and others, as well as streaming audio content from Music Choice.

Taiwanese manufacturer HTC (High Tech Computer) had been contracted to build the DVB-H-enabled Modeo Mobile TV Smartphones.

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