FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Cingular May Offer HBO via Cell Phone

Cingular is reportedly in talks with HBO (owned by Time Warner) to offer HBO programs through Cingular mobile devices. Under one proposed agreement, Cingular customers with video-compatible devices could access HBO's acclaimed programming such as Six Feet Under and Deadwood, as well as specialty channels.

With 52 million subscribers (including many adopted from its purchase of AT&T Wireless), Cingular is the nation's largest cell phone carrier. Although Cingular has lagged behind Verizon and Sprint in the mobile video market, it is positioned to catch up quickly. Cingular plans to introduce broadband service and a video-capable phone in selected cities by year's end.

One hurdle both Cingular and HBO may face is a potential uproar over HBO's adult-oriented content. Already, consumer and morality groups are gearing up to fight cell phone pornography, which promises to be a hugely lucrative market if carriers allow it.

Source: Newsweek