AT&T raises mobile video bar with Wi-Fi downloads

Mike Jude, Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan
04 Oct 2010
AT&T's mobile video offering also addresses a slightly more thorny issue -- the iPhone experience. While offering the iPhone has been a significant market advantage for AT&T, its ability to consume data has placed AT&T's network under a spotlight.
Just a few subscribers can drive cell sites into conniption fits as they view live streaming video. So it was clear that for the iPhone to live up to its potential, it needed a way to display high quality video on the go, without the constraints imposed by saturated wireless networks.
AT&T has adroitly addressed this issue by recognizing an important characteristic of mobile video: it hardly ever needs to be in real time. Most users who consume mobile video are looking for one of two things:
  • Very high-quality continuous viewing
  • Intermittent low-quality viewing.
Watching Gone with the Wind is a good example. It is unlikely that you would walk down the street watching the movie streaming live from a website. But if you were parked in a hotel room for an evening, you might settle in with the film.
Walking down the street, you might communicate with someone over a two-way video link, but the quality and data rate of the link wouldn't need to be substantial. In the hotel room, however, you would probably simply use a Wi-Fi connection to obtain the movie, since it would be convenient and quick.
Of course, one could argue that AT&T U-verse Mobile is simply a way of side-stepping network issues; turning a necessity into a virtue. Yet the U-verse Mobile application provides real mobility integration into the U-verse service universe.


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