Verizon Updates Mobile TV for LTE
Verizon also has a deal in place with Sling Media Inc. to offer subscription TV to LTE smartphone owners wanting to view their FiOS lineup on the go. (See CES 2011: Verizon to Sling Video to LTE Phones and Sling, Verizon Combine 4G & TV.)
Mobile TV and video are two of the apps that stand to benefit the most from carriers' 4G networks. In announcing the service, Verizon touted the quality of the video over the LTE network. On the flip side, mobile video, and especially TV, will need the 4G network to really take off. The market has had a number of false starts, owing to quality issues, price and content available. (See CES 2011: Mobile DTV Ready for Prime Time?, Mobile TV Meandered at The Cable Show and CTIA 2010: Mobile TV Vendors Learn From FLO TV.)
Verizon's biggest competitors in the U.S. also have their own mobile TV and video offerings that they're hoping will get new life on 4G. Here's the latest:
AT&T U-Verse Mobile
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s mobile TV ambitions originally relied on Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)'s FLO TV service, which never really gained traction with its subscribers. Qualcomm pulled the plug on the consumer version of the monthly subscription service last year, and AT&T discontinued shortly after. (See FLO TV: A Failure to Entertain and FLO TV Alive, But Not Well.)
Instead, it's promoting its much more popular mobile TV play that mirrors its U-Verse lineup. The U-Verse mobile app lets users browse their home program guides, record shows from their smartphones and watch a growing list of TV shows. (See Pay TV Reaches the Mobile Masses and 2010 Top Ten: Carrier Apps.)
Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s had the luxury of touting its 4G WiMax-powered mobile TV service long before its competitors began their LTE journeys. The carrier offers a branded Sprint TV service that includes live broadcasts, mobile-specific programming and on-demand TV. (See Sprint Touts Cheap Mobile TV on WiMax & 3G .)
A Sprint spokesman points out that several of its OEM partners offer their own multimedia video services as well, including Samsung Corp. 's Media Hub and High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) Watch.
T-Mobile Mobile TV Prime
T-Mobile US Inc. 's services may become a moot point if AT&T's acquisition of the company goes through, but until then, it offers a number of TV and video services. MobiTV Inc. powers its Mobile TV Prime, offered free for the first 30 days followed by a $12.99 monthly subscription. Movie watching is also supported, although not marketed under a T-Mobile-branded service, on most of its smartphones.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile