March 6, 2006 9:00 PM PST

Cingular launches mobile-TV service

Cingular is expected to announce on Tuesday an on-demand mobile TV service that runs over its new 3G wireless network.

The service--called Cingular Video--allows viewers to select short three- to five-minute clips from 18 different channels, including selections from shows airing on the Cartoon Network, NBC and ESPN.

Cingular has also partnered with media companies to offer exclusive content from sources such as Fox News, which will offer short clips of news, and HBO, which will offer clips of "The Sopranos," "Sex and the City," "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Entourage."

Cingular Video will be available free of charge to Cingular customers purchasing an unlimited 3G data package, which costs $19.99 per month. The data package also allows for unlimited text messaging, e-mailing and picture sharing over the network. To receive clips from HBO, customers will have to subscribe to a premium channel, which costs $4.99 per month.

Cingular's competitors also offer video clips. Verizon Wireless offers a service called V Cast over its 3G wireless network for $15 per month. The subscription includes 300 channels of packaged video clips between one and four minutes long. Sprint Nextel charges $9.99 for its on-demand video service, but users must also subscribe to a data package, which can cost an additional $10 to $20 per month.

Cingular currently offers a live TV service over its 2.5G network through MobiTV. That service costs $9.99 per month. In addition to the MobiTV subscription, customers must sign up for a data package, which ranges from $4.99 per month for 1MB of data usage to a $19.99 package for unlimited data usage.

Mobile operators, such as Cingular, are hoping mobile TV is a big hit with consumers, generating additional revenue that will help offset the billions of dollars operators have already spent to build new 3G high-speed wireless networks.

But some studies suggest that Americans may not be interested watching TV on their cell phones. About 75 percent of roughly 1,000 people polled said they had no interest in watching TV on their cells, according to a survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets.

Cingular's 3G network is currently available in 16 markets. And it offers 3G service on the LG CU320 or Samsung SGH-ZX10 handsets and will add the Nokia 6282 and LG CU500 to its 3G product line later this spring. Prices for Cingular 3G handsets start at $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate for a two-year service plan commitment.

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Cingular Wireless, 3G, MobiTV, on-demand, mobile TV

12 comments

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TV? How about customer service and coverage?
Cingular doesn't need TV, they need a network that doesn't bog down at multiple times during the day, customer service reps that have a clue, a new management team, and coverage that makes it so my phone actually rings more than one in four times.
Posted by kylegas (81 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Absolutely.....
.... those are the reasons I dumped Cingular.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
No kidding...
Instead of trying to provide new services, they need to fix their old broken service... service that includes dropped calls, bad service levels and bad customer service. In fact, as large as that company is, why don't they have 24/7 customer service like other carriers?
Posted by commorancy (25 comments )
Link Flag
I really want to know
Who decided that Tv to GO was the next big thing, all the companies seem to think its gonna be big, but almost everyone ive seen has no intrest in it.
Posted by rawker (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Coverage
Why yes, didn't you know that Cingular has nationwide coverage? There are cell sites in New York and in San Francisco, so they can call it "nationwide" coverage, just lite Verizon, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Sprint/Nextel, etc etc etc. Never mind the 90% of the country that doesn't have analog, digital, CDMA, EVDO, or GSM coverage. Watching TV on my iPod is bearable but I have NO interest in watching on a cell phone screen!
Posted by ggore (274 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: Coverage
Try knowing something about the wireless carriers and their networks before spouting incorrect information.

Sprint and Verizon use CDMA which covers the country, with the exception of Verizons' service in OK state which is almost non-existant.

Digital aka TDMA is being phased out by Cingular, who are trying their best to get rid of the former ATT side aka "blue".

GSM is nationally deployed, as is EVDO.
(Verizon has something close to 3 times as many locations rolled out for EVDO versus Sprint)

CDMA is a technology that needs to be got rid of. It isn't global. It is a relic.
Posted by jonboggs (1 comment )
Link Flag
Coverage
Why yes, didn't you know that Cingular has nationwide coverage? There are cell sites in New York and in San Francisco, so they can call it "nationwide" coverage, just lite Verizon, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Sprint/Nextel, etc etc etc. Never mind the 90% of the country that doesn't have analog, digital, CDMA, EVDO, or GSM coverage. Watching TV on my iPod is bearable but I have NO interest in watching on a cell phone screen!
Posted by ggore (274 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who wants lilliputian videos?
What is it with all this rush to lilliputian video? I've got a decent
sized color screen on my Nokia but watching video on it is a
joke.

I tried watching the "Conviction" pilot episode (free download
from iTunes) on my iPod just to check out the quality but gave
up after 5 minutes.

As far as I'm concerned, by the time you make a device with a
big enough screen to watch mobile video, the box is too big to
carry around.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Small minds want to know....
.... The very same small minds who are trying to push this
microcephalic concept.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Cell phones
Are too small for videos. All of these companies want more $$$$$$ Thats why I've got a 20" CRT TV in my den.
Posted by paulsecic (298 comments )
Link Flag
pointless
who wants to watch clips of anything? i dont, i want the full movie streaming, cingular doesnt even have full mp3z to download, lame
Posted by digitallysick (103 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Desperation
I can't believe that there is any programme worth watching if you are out and about.

Surely even the superbowl can be watched 'properly' at home after the event, so full enjoyment (and if watching your own recording, you can even forward wind past the commercials.
Posted by Adepr (1 comment )
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