Randall Stephenson, chief executive officer of AT&T, had teased about it last month. And now, industry watchers are fully expecting the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States to officially announce its new mobile video feature soon. This service would allow AT&T to deliver all kinds of video content to its subscribers’ mobile devices, anytime and anywhere they want it.
Over the years, AT&T has continued to expand on its core wireless, home Internet and TV services. But recently, the wireless carrier has shown signs that it also wants to venture into the concept of the Internet of Things, connecting automobiles, wearable devices (smartwatches), glucose monitoring equipment, and even whole metropolises. And now, AT&T wants to enter into the mobile video service business, too,.
The idea of wireless carriers exploring ways in which they can also deliver video content services to their mobile subscribers is nothing new. As a matter of fact, various network providers have tried collaborating with cable companies in years past in order to turn this idea into a reality. But in recent quarters, this trend has become more and more visible, especially that fewer customers now are choosing to remain subscribed to cable companies. These so-called cord cutters (people who have terminated their cable subscriptions) are now turning to mobile video services because they can easily watch all the video they want via their smartphones and tablet devices.
AT&T, who acquired DirecTV for a sum of $49 billion, should be in a good position to take advantage of this shift in the customer’s viewing preferences. Ever since completing its acquisition of DirecTV back in July of last year, the wireless carrier has been busy inking deals with various video channels and content providers, such as HBO, ESPN, Viacom, and Showtime, just to name a few. That is not to mention that by buying DirecTV, AT&T has effectively gained access to National Football games.
It should be noted that many of today’s channels and video content providers already offer their own mobile apps, e.g. WatchESPN, HBOGo. AT&T, however, wants a setup in which mobile users can just surf through channels on their mobile devices, just like they would on normal cable TV, and users would no longer have to launch separate mobile apps in order to view a particular type of video content.
Of course, this setup is easier said than done. Not only does AT&T need to convince channels and video content providers to buy into its program, but it also needs to pull the whole thing off with an easy to use interface that should appeal to today’s mobile users, who admittedly are mostly of short attention spans.
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