Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Carriers Don't Like SlingBox

Forbes.com reports that network operators aren't taking too kindly to the prospects that SlingBox will "let consumers watch their home TV on handheld devices." According to the article, "none of the three big carriers with high-speed networks capable of carrying the service--Verizon, Cingular and Sprint have publicly agreed to sign on so far" to Sling Media mobile service expected to launch in March.

All the carriers are trying to push their own mobile video efforts and don't want a third party to steal their customers as well as "snarfing up lots of their bandwith." However some analysts think that "the carrier will have to let them on their networks purely for public-relations reasons."

Ovum analyst Roger Entner said, "The moment they block the Slingbox service or throttle it down to make it unviewable, they put themselves in the position of companies and organizations that block or impede consumer choice."

Imagine paying $40+ for unlimited usage of a 3G data network and then not being able to go outside the walled garden? I wouldn't be a customer very long if that was the case...