Cingular Launches 3G Video Service

Cingular on Thursday detailed its plans for an upcoming 3G video service from the cellular carrier to be called Cingular Video. The new feature would allow for the on-demand streaming of video content, including clips from premium movie channel HBO.

Users would be able to personalize the service to their liking, which would also include news, sports, weather and entertainment clips. Those with compatible 3G phones could view the content over the carrier's new HSDPA network, announced on December 6.

Cingular's high-speed network is currently available in Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Calif., Seattle/Tacoma, and Washington D.C., with plans to expand it throughout 2006.

HBO will provide exclusive mobile video content to Cingular starting next year, however the carrier will begin offering graphics, games, messaging and ring tones themed on HBO programming starting Friday.

At the same press event, HBO also disclosed that it was interested in working with Apple to bring programming to iTunes and the video iPod. "I'm very excited by the video iPod," HBO CEO Chris Albrecht told reporters. "At some point, I think we would have some arrangement with them."

Speaking on the subject of the Cingular deal, Albrecht said the decision to partner with the carrier was due to a desire to work with "the most innovative team in the wireless space." He said that both companies would benefit from the new partnership.

For those concerned with the sometimes mature nature of HBO content, Cingular said its recently launched Parental Controls feature of its Media Net data service would also work with HBO programming.

"With Cingular Video, consumers on the go can quickly and easily get the latest news and entertainment video clips anytime they want," chief operating officer Ralph de la Vega said in the announcement.

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