AT&T’s two-way mobile Video Share technology, announced for nationwide availability Monday, is accessible in 160 markets across the U.S., but the service won’t be available for Apple Inc.’s iPhone.
Announced Monday, the video streaming service is available on AT&T’s high-speed 3G UMTS/HSDPA network at different prices starting at $4.99 a month.
Mark Siegel, a company spokesman, said the service isn’t available to users of AT&T’s 2G EDGE network including iPhone users; AT&T has an exclusive deal with Apple to supply the iPhone over the 2G network.
AT&T obviously has big plans and hopes for the service, which is the firm’s first application for its emerging Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) platform. The platform will be used as the vehicle for delivering IP services over wireless and wireline network connections.
The company said it envisions Video Share and other IMS services eventually being used over wireless devices, PCs and TVs as its customers increasingly connect services seamlessly.
“AT&T Video Share will be groundbreaking in the way life events are captured and shared,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer of AT&T’s wireless unit, in a statement. “For consumers, the service offers a new, easily attainable, level of connectivity.”
Video Share service packages are available for $4.99 a month for 25 minutes and $9.99 a month for 60 minutes. An a la carte feature is also available for 35 cents a minute. To initiate a video session, two connected parties must have the Video Share service while they participate in a two-way voice conversation.
The service is currently available on four handsets that range in purchase price from $29.99 to $129.99: LG CU50a, SYNC by Samsung, Samsung A717, and Samsung A727.
Siegel said AT&T’s 3G UMTS/HSDPA is available “all around the country” and is continually being built out. Available to 270 million Americans, the firm’s EDGE network has the most coverage in the U.S., said Siegel, but he said the older network isn’t robust enough for effective use of Video Share.
The two-way video service has a long legacy going back to AT&T’s 1956 Picturephone system, which transmitted an image every two seconds over landlines. But the Picturephone equipment was too bulky and difficult to use.
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