Crown Castle’s Big Play

Forbes has a great article up about Crown Castle’s Modeo play.

From the article:

Modeo and Qualcomm’s Mediaflo are separate networks with their own wireless spectrum. They will broadcast to any device equipped with the right chips, most likely transmitting live sports and news, leaving the on-demand video requests to the carriers’ own 3G networks. Crown Castle plans to use a standard popular in Europe and Asia called Digital Video Broadcast for Handhelds, or DVB-H.

Crown Castle has so far invested $30 million of its own cash in Modeo, but Kelly is hedging his risk by hiring Allen & Co. to raise $500 million in other people’s money. Crown can maintain a controlling stake as long as Modeo’s equity value continues to increase with each new city added.

Qualcomm says it will spend $800 million in cash to build its Mediaflo service and network. It already beat out Crown Castle to operate Verizon (nyse: VZ news people ) Wireless’ broadcast video service, which will be the first of its kind when it likely debuts in 2007.

Kelly refuses to accept defeat with the Verizon deal, saying there is plenty of time to sign agreements before consumers adopt the technology in earnest next year. “We got much closer to that business than I ever thought we would,” says Michael Schueppert, president of the Modeo unit.

More Modeo:
Michael Schueppert: Modeo and the Future of DVB-H
Crown Castle Annouces Modeo
DVB-H Making Some Waves
DVB-H vs. MediaFlo


About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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