Wireless Video Service Gets Orlando OK

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The FCC will allow wireless phone/content company Qualcomm to operate its new wireless multichannel video service on channel 55 in Orlando, saying the interference that it will create to some TV viewers on channel 56--Ion Media's analog station WOPX(TV)--is acceptable.

Qualcomm is rolling out the service nationwide on the channel as it buys out current occupants () or, in this case, makes deals with adjacent channels to accept the interference it will cause.

Ion agreed to accept interference to 3.78% of its analog viewers and the FCC said that would be in the public interest given that viewers could still receive the digital WOPX, that the analog WOPX was not among the top four stations in the market, and because there were 23 other TV stations serving the market.

The commission also pointed to the potential benefits of the Qualcomm MediaFLO service , including the effect of Qualcomm's planned $800 million investment on the economy, the new services it will provide to wireless phones, and its pledge to carry local programming, public interest content, and emergency alerts.