MediaFLO is a proprietary technology from Qualcomm for the transmission of files and multimedia content to handheld devices. The system includes a distribution system for the nationwide distribution of the content. The distribution system has the possibility to insert regional or local material. The transmission system itself is simply called FLO: Forward Link Only.
Transmission is based on the delivery of content via a small number of transmission towers with a high transmitter power. FLO uses OFDM transmission with 4K carriers (4096). Each carriers is QPSK or 16-QAM modulated with a small portion of the total amount of data. Just as DVB-H, FLO uses a form of time-slicing, which means that specific content is transmitted in specific time intervals. This allows the receiver to be switched on only at particular transmission bursts to save power.
FLO can be used in a number of bands between 450 MHz and 3 GHz. Qualcomm has a license for nationwide coverage of FLO in a 6 MHz block of the lower 700 MHz band (channel 55) in the US.
MediaFLO also allows the delivery of multimedia content over cellular based mobile networks during off-peak hours. The content is then stored on the handheld for viewing in the future.