Mobile Video

Verizon's 'Viewdini' Unchains Comcast Video

BOSTON -- The Cable Show -- Verizon Wireless President and CEO Dan Mead called it one of his company's "most important announcements of the year" here at the annual cable gathering. He was talking about viewdini, a mobile platform/portal for discovering and accessing content on connected devices that the wireless operator unveiled on Tuesday.

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

AESerm 12/5/2012 | 5:32:24 PM
re: Verizon's 'Viewdini' Unchains Comcast Video

Mead's comment that consumers shouldn't "have to understand what a Gigabyte is" caught my attention. I think his point was that the "friendly reminders" (at 50%, 75%, 90% and 100%) should suffice. But if one of the points of Viewdini is to increase LTE traffic and lead to purchases of larger data packages, consumers will kind of need to correlate movies or downloads with the a number linked to the letters GB.

steve q 12/5/2012 | 5:32:23 PM
re: Verizon's 'Viewdini' Unchains Comcast Video

Hi I hate to tell Verizon Wireless that going to bed with Comcast will be the end of the wireless part of Verizon. The only move Verizon has to stay ahead of the Comcast and the other cable is Fios it is much faster and with no tie down in speed the cust can use more device in there home and business. Comcast has a problem with the speed of Fios and i love that cable is just like the old copper line in verizon dead and slow. The Verizon customer of Fios wiill hope the AWS does not pass if it does we all lose Fios and Verizon.

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