Another major player has joined Qualcomm and
Crown Castle with plans to enter a nascent mobile TV market whose future is wildly uncertain. Aloha Partners L.P. will
ultimately spend $500 million to roll out its Hiwire service nationwide on the 700MHz spectrum, which it will share
with Qualcomm's MediaFlo, and which is considered superior
to the 1600MHz spectrum owned by Crown subsidiary Modeo.
However, Hiwire will join Modeo in adopting the DVB-H standard for mobile TV, as opposed to the proprietary MediaFlo
technology that will be embedded into CDMA handsets. With Verizon already committed to offering the Qualcomm tech to
its customers, Hiwire will need to partner with either Cingular or T-Mobile if it expects to gain a similar foothold in
the GSM market, and even then, its success will largely be based on consumers' willingness to adopt a service that so
far they have shown little interest in.