AT&T plans to launch a television service for mobile phones next week, following in the footsteps of rival Verizon. The service, which will be available in 58 markets, will offer programmes from several major TV networks, including CBS, Comedy Central, NBC and Fox. While some of the network programming will air simultaneously with what is airing on television, a little more than half will be delayed from the TV airtime.
The service is on top of the streamed video offerings already available and, like Verizon's service, will use the network built by MediaFLO that is designed to offer live television. Consumers must purchase one of two new AT&T phones to watch the mobile-TV service. LG Electronics’ Vu, which has a large touch screen, will sell for $300 with a two-year service contract. The Samsung Access will be $200 with similar conditions. Additionally, users must sign up for a TV service plan on top of their monthly voice and data plans. The starter package is $15 a month for unlimited access to television. A $30-a-month plan adds additional features, including Web browsing. AT&T also hopes to generate revenue from advertising