Posts for 'Sprint'

  • Video is Quickly Becoming Bait For Wireless Carriers to Lure and Retain Subscribers

    There is an unmistakable trend taking hold in the wireless industry: video is quickly becoming bait for big carriers to lure and retain subscribers. All 4 of the biggest U.S. carriers have not only launched unlimited data plans, which are being explicitly promoted for video viewing, but in addition 3 of the 4 (T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon) are also tying in aggressive discounts on video services. As I wrote recently, all of this carrier activity will drive more widespread mobile video use.

    The start of the trend can clearly be traced to November, 2015 when T-Mobile launched its Binge On program, which now allows users to watch 120+ video services without impacting the user’s data plan. T-Mobile upped the ante in late 2016 by offering AT&T subscribers who switched to T-Mobile a full year of DirecTV Now for free (a $420 value). In January, T-Mobile further tweaked AT&T by adding a free year of Hulu for these subscribers because of the launch problems DirecTV Now experienced.

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  • Sezmi Expands to Malaysia With YTL Partnership - Template For 4G Carrier Deals in U.S.?

    Sezmi is expanding into Malaysia, partnering with YTL Communications to provide the digital television service component of YTL's hybrid broadcast-wireless 4G "quadruple play" that also includes voice and data services. For Sezmi, the move is its first significant international deal, and could serve as a template for partnership deals in other developing countries that don't have or can't affordably build extensive wired broadband networks.

    Importantly, the YTL deal also provides a possible glimpse of Sezmi's value as a partner to domestic U.S. carriers rolling out 4G service who might seek to offer a competitive over the top TV service. 4G is gaining momentum in the U.S. Just last week Verizon announced that it would introduce its 4G "LTE" service in 38 markets around the U.S. by the end of the year, with data speeds of 5-12 megabits per second. Both Clearwire and Sprint have already rolled out 4G services to over 50 market each and T-Mobile is in over 60 (albeit none of these always have 100% market coverage just yet). AT&T is planning to launch an extensive 4G network by mid-2011.

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  • Best Buy's "Movie Mode" Mobile App is Part of New Promotional Trend

    When I got home from my long holiday weekend I noticed a huge promotion on the cover of the Best Buy Sunday circular for its new "Movie Mode" app (see below). The app was featured with an offer to buy the new Sprint Evo, but it works on other Android devices as well as iPhones and certain BlackBerry models.

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  • "Mobile Set-Top Box" Era Begins on June 4th with Sprint Evo Introduction

    News this week from Sprint that it will release the much-anticipated HTC Evo 4G on June 4th means that the era of the "mobile set-top box" is about to officially get underway. For those of you not familiar with the Evo, it is the first smartphone capable of working on Sprint's ultra-fast 4G wireless network. The Evo, powered by the Android 2.1 OS also sports an HDMI output (the first that I've seen), which means that you can connect the device to a widescreen HDTV and watch 720p video in gorgeous quality on a widescreen HDTV (note, Sprint plans to charge a $10 incremental 4G fee, though data transfer will be unlimited). See video below showing Evo outputting to an 85-inch plasma HDTV and also a side-by-side Engadget did with the iPhone.

    The implications of the Evo - and the many similar devices that will no doubt follow it - are profound. While current set-tops can of course deliver stunning HD programming, they are anchored to the room and the designated TV. Conversely, video-capable smartphones have offered video watching on the go and ever-increasing quality. The Evo is essentially the first bridge between these 2 worlds, opening up exciting use cases and unprecedented consumer control. For example, with a set-top in your pocket and a Netflix or MLB streaming app you could conceivably transfer your experience from the mobile screen to the big screen in a snap, just by plugging in your handy HDMI cable.

    It is these kinds of Android innovations that will put increasing pressure on iPhone sales (see below for more on that), and also demonstrate the rampant wireless competition in video in the coming years. Even as the government seems intent on regulating broadband ISPs, innovation abounds, ensuring highly competitive dynamics and accelerating investments. The mobile set-top box era promises a new chapter in consumer value.

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required). 

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