T-Mobile Considering Video Channel That Doesn’t Require Data Plan?

T-Mobile Senior Vice President, Brad Duea sat down in an interview this morning and hinted at a new effort by T-Mobile to expand video content for your smartphone. The data plan under consideration by T-Mobile (Verizon hinted at the same style plan as well) would allow for a new video channel that would be available on T-Mobile smartphones carrying T-Mobile ads and device tips alongside entertainment programming. The cost of the data plan would be paid for by the content providers, advertising sponsors or T-Mobile itself.

T-Mobile’s Mr. Duea said the goal of new video offerings that don’t count against data plans would be to get customers interested in consuming more data, and set T-Mobile’s plans apart from those of other carriers.

“On certain plans, we actually could include special channels and not count the data,” Mr. Duea said. T-Mobile is developing a video channel that would be shown on its smartphones and carrying T-Mobile ads and device tips alongside entertainment programming, he said. The cost of the data, he said, could be paid for by the content providers, advertising sponsors or by T-Mobile itself.

Most data plans these days only allow for viewers to see a hours worth of a video before they suck up their entire monthly data allotment. As content available for smartphones continues to expand like wildfire, the carriers have to do something to match it without significantly increasing the cost coming out of consumer pockets. For the moment, technology seems to be ahead of the business models created by the wireless carriers and now they are playing catch up.

Would you use a video channel containing ads that doesn’t come out of your data allotment if the programming were worth it?

Wall Street Journal

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  • fixxmyhead

    yes. i already use the crackle app. free movies and i dont mind the ads that pop up for letting me watcht them for free

    • Sompom

      We’re talking free data here, not just free movies!

  • Alvin B.

    Wow, free programming over the air, sounds like a new idea…. circa 1930 :)

  • Deadeye37

    That would be nice. What would be nicer is if we could catch over the air broadcasts from our phones like a lot of other countries can. But, I’ll take this, too…

    • TritonX

      Really? Never heard of this. So what’s the limitation here in the states — do our phones just need the proper tuner to pick up OTA digital channels? Or is this some kind of FCC block

      • Sompom

        I think it has mostly to do with hardware. You can (or used to be able to…) buy phones with built in TV tuners on eBay. The problem is they’re all analog and nearly the whole US uses digital! If you took them out of the country, they’d probably work.
        Many phones can get FM radio… Cyanogen mod includes it in many of their builds. Look for Spirit FM by Mike Reid on the Play Store. Last time I checked, there was a free version but I can’t find it now >.<

  • http://twitter.com/ClarkKent113 Kal-El

    I don’t see how anyone can watch an hour or more of video content on their phone consistently. Who has time in the day to catch up on an hour’s worth of TV/movies when they’re away from home? And if they are home then they’d just watch that content on their TV or laptop.

    I mean there is probably a niche of people who consume that amount of video many days of the week (frequent flyers who get bored waiting in airports for example), but I think that’s a very small amount of people

    And people who take the subway to work everyday that would actually use something like this don’t have access to wireless connections anyway.

    Having said all that, I’m not complaining if carriers want to give us free-stuff.

    Am i missing something here?

    • http://twitter.com/timzirkel timzirkel

      Plenty of people commute via above-ground regional/light rail or buses. Plus, most people burn their data on a variety of things (streaming music, app downloads, etc.), so saving even a few hundred megabytes a month (not that hard to reach) with a free video service reduces the overall pressure on your data allowance.

      • quaestor99

        Agreed. I commute on a bus 80 min each way and you bet I’m using my GS2. Free content is always a plus.

    • loopylogic

      You go to the gym. Try it some time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brianimae Brian Tessier

      You’re forgetting students too. I used to have an hour and a half break between classes, and there are so many people on the school wi-fi I would get better speeds with my cellular connection. I would usually watch a movie or a few episodes of a tv show through netflix between classes. It just wasn’t worth it for me to drive home from school, wait about 30 minutes and then drive back to get to class on time.

      • http://twitter.com/ClarkKent113 Kal-El

        Fair enough, i’m a grad student myself and there are times I get bored on campus between classes.

  • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

    I would definitely go for it!

  • Sompom

    But the important question – for me, anyway – is would TMobile require a data plan active on the line, or would this be a separate service? I can’t justify paying $10 a month for slow data that is not tetherable… and I can’t be bothered to spend anything for TV! Hopefully I’ll get 1/2 on this one ;)

  • 21stNow

    Not to be too off-topic, but what event had that kind of line outside of a T-Mobile store in the picture?

  • MastarPete

    “How to get the general public to get on-board with the idea of NO Net neutrality.”

    1.) suddenly impose absurdly low data caps on previously “unlimited” services due to self inflicted capacity problems.
    2.) wait a couple years
    3.) offer services that don’t take away from your monthly cap
    4.) customers tired of the low caps think “HEY! That’s great!!”
    5.) ??
    6.) Profit…. So for the sake of Net Neutrality I say “Shove it”

  • James

    Wait… They will show T-mobile adds, and Not charge us…
    A. They shouldn’t charge for usage associated with their adds, and
    B. Aside from upcoming stuff and new plans that we can benefit from (which usually are only marketed to New customers)
    Why watch???

  • spartanjet

    I’d just like more high end phones thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/Serotheo Simon Yu

    Sure, so basically its TV.

  • JBLmobileG1

    They should include this with the 10gb data plan without paying any extra fees. Too bad Tmobile didn’t offer data rollover either… although I doubt that would happen anytime soon.

  • http://twitter.com/WillieFDiazSF William Diaz

    In terms of video content that doesnt use up my data allowance, I dont really care for the current T-Mobile offerings as it is, so unless the content is Fearnet, NetFlix, Crackle, Hulu type programming, or LIVE TV channels based for the area I live, I have zero interest in a video channel, free or not.

  • steveb944

    I’ll take free anything, that’s how Google has me eating out of their hand with their ads paying for everything. Free is always a good thing, but I’d honestly prefer having tuners in our phones like they do overseas

  • Wilma Flintstone

    Virtualbox. All the TV on my phone I’ll ever need. :)

  • jarjon76

    It would depend on what channels/programming are offered for free. What’s currently on T-Mobile TV doesn’t interest me, even what’s offered via subscription.