Thursday, February 4, 2010

ATT: Liberalization of 3G Network, Soon Supporting Slingplayer

ATT is now saying that after working through things with Sling Media, the next update for the iPhone app will support 3G streaming. Let me repeat: once the update is available, you can stream video over ATT's 3G network using the iPhone app Slingplayer.

You pay $30 for an app, you kind of expect to be able to use it when you want to, where you want to, and how you want to, right? Well, if you're like me and you play $30 for the Slingplayer, you had to be tethered to a Wi-Fi access point or hotspot.

Well enough since just about everywhere these days have a wireless hotspot.  Starbucks, MacDonalds, Borders, and Barnes And Noble. What if you're not frequenting these social places or anywhere else where Wi-Fi access is unavailable? Well, you're out of luck.

What changed? Techno-magic. It's as simple as that. I'm not kidding. This is what ATT said in their press release: AT&T been been working collaboratively with Sling Media since December to test its revised SlingPlayer Mobile app, which has been recently optimized to more efficiently use 3G network bandwidth and conserve wireless spectrum. Optimization reduces the risk of the app causing congestion that could disrupt the experience of other wireless customers so, with that improvement, we will support it on our 3G mobile broadband network.

This subject specifically touch on the iPhone 3G and 3GS. How about the iPad? Hey, like Steve said, all of the 140,000 apps will work on the iPad. I'm guess that Steve also mean anything that works on the iPhone will translate over to the iPad. And this includes the ability to streaming video via the Slingplayer on the iPad 3G.

This liberalization is due to collaboration between AT&T and Sling Media as the press release says. So I have to ask this. What about other video streaming services on the Internet like Hulu and Netflix?

I'm going to do a bit of speculation here and say that Apple had a hand in it and probably is readying some sort of video streaming service in the second half of the year (there's too much going on already and it's not in Apple's DNA to try to confuse the consumer).

Plus, there are other factors that seem to be working towards this anyway. This new development followed closely on the heel of Apple's changes to the iPhone OS to support VOIP over 3G. I don't know about you but even if you don't care for 3G video streaming (there was already some apps doing this) and chatting over the Internet, this really flies in the face of all the complaints against Apple and AT&T.

I surmise this is in some part due to competitive pressure from the likes of Android and Verizon Wireless. So I think we'll see more wireless and access developments leading up to June, when Apple's likely to introduce their next generation iPhone.

More at 9to5mac.  You can google this subject if you like to know more about it.  Frankly, it's a waiting game for me.  Waiting for the 3G-enabled Slingplayer and waiting for the iPad 3G.

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