Verizon's 'Viewdini' Unchains Comcast Video
While details are still emerging, Verizon Wireless is pitching viewdini as a mobile video portal with an emphasis on simplicity. Mead also reinforced Verizon's new chummy relationship with cable by announcing Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) Xfinity as one of the service's first content partners. Verizon Wireless isn't leaving out FiOS, however. Content from Verizon Wireless's corporate cousin is expected to be added to viewdini soon, joining not just Comcast, but Hulu LLC , mSpot and Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), among viewdini's initial launch partners. (see Verizon Wireless: Cable’s New BFF)
Viewdini, meanwhile, is described as including capabilities for not only video viewing, but the policies that govern how that content may be viewed. A search by title, topic or actor, for example, will pull up information telling the user if a title is offered for free, via subscription, for rent or for purchase.
Verizon Wireless will start to offer viewdini on Android 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) devices later this month, promising support for additional operating systems "soon."
Mead also highlighted how viewdini takes advantage of his company's mobile broadband network. "We saw the capabilities of the LTE network ... and we saw the hunger of consumers to be able to get this [content] whenever they want, on whatever device they have," Mead said here during Tuesday's general session.
However, neither Mead, nor his stage partner, Comcast President and CEO Neil Smit, got away with talking about broadband video without getting challenged on data caps and emerging usage-based pricing models. (See Comcast to Raise Caps, Test Overage Fees .)
Smit said Comcast intends to offer more choice and flexibility via new data management policies that the operator will soon test out in place of its old monthly 250-Gigabyte cap on "excessive use." Mead noted that Verizon Wireless provides warnings when consumers are close to hitting a cap, and then offers an opportunity for customers to upgrade to a new mobile broadband service tier.
— Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable