AT&T admits role in SlingPlayer hobbling, blames data drain

Following the announcement that the new SlingPlayer Mobile app for iPhone would be limited to Wi-Fi only, AT&T has released an unusual statement regarding the limitation and why it was put into place. In the statement, the exclusive U.S. iPhone carrier claims the program “would use large amounts of wireless network capacity” and “could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network.” It goes on to say that the company considers the iPhone and other smartphones to be personal computers, as “they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs,” while pointing out that applications that redirect a TV signal to a PC are specifically prohibited under its terms of service. Finally, the company pointed out that it doesn’t restrict users from watching video on the web, and that they can get free Wi-Fi access at the company’s 20,000 U.S. hot spots. The statement is the first to suggest that Apple permits its network partners a veto power over certain application approvals.

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10 comments
  1. They (being AT&T;) have a point…. at some time the industry has to reckon with the elephant in the room… increasing bandwith consumption on portable, cellular-based devices.

  2. Because Slingbox isn’t being used on multiple cell phones already over 3G.
    I’m actually interested in this Microsoft “Pink” project, if I can get a good phone and buy Zune Pass I’ll be leaving the overpriced and horrible for the west coast AT&T;service.

  3. The future is here – innovation will be now be checked by the bandwidth providers. Please bow down to Verizon, Time Warner, AT&T;, Comcast. They’ll cap you, throttle you back, and irriate the heck out of you. Especially when they consolidate into 2 companies.

  4. The “bandwidth providers” would love to be able to provide all the data you can suck up, but today’s technology has a limit so it has to be throttled back. Make no mistake, AT&T;would LOVE to offer you more bandwidth (and charge you commensurately), but they don’t want to bring down the integrity of what they can offer today for the sake of a limited set of Gb/s-hungry users.

  5. @ Demetrious Ward

    Despite the contradictory attitudes of bragging and dragging about their network, I assume both that they never planned this far ahead (GB hungry portable devices and specifically GB hungry apps on the iphone in 2009. give this technology, with mobile TV still in its infancy, a chance. don’t expect a fool proof product after the track record of an apparently unreliable data network and the notorious reputation of apple not quite going to plan just yet… (app store reliability?)

    anyway – if you are in an economically challenging time why on earth are you spending $200 on portable TV when you have FOUR TV’s in your home. A little contradictory to your argument – please step down from your moral high ground.

  6. After spending nearly $200 and waiting patiently for the product to be available and making all the connections necessary for the app to work, the only place I can watch TV on my iPhone IS IN MY HOME!! In my home where I have 4 other TV’s I can watch.

    This is by far the biggest scam I have had the displeasure of being involved in. I believe Apple took advantage of their loyal customers (Sling Media and AT&T;as well). What is worst, Apple took advantage of middle income Americans who are being strained and stressed during these economic challenging time. Shame on all of you. Apple and Sling Media made a promise you both were unable to keep. You took our money, our hopes for a good product and our faith in good companies and flushed them down the toilet.

    Demetrious Ward

  7. It really is a drag that they want to stifle mobile internet use. Considering the fact that the carriers love to brag about their great networks and high speeds, an unlimited data plan should mean we actually get to use it.

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