AT&T Ups the Ante on Mobile TV Services with 100 Channels
By Jennifer LeClaire / CIO Today. Updated October 07, 2013.
AT&T is making a bold move on the mobile TV front. The wireless carrier’s U-Verse App now makes available more than 100 live channels, of which you can watch 20 channels outside the home.
That means you can keep little Johnny entertained while you wait in the doctor’s office or follow along with your favorite cooking show from your tablet in the kitchen. The app is available to AT&T U-Verse customers at no additional cost. The company said it would add more live channels and expand to more devices going forward.
"By making live TV content available across devices we're enabling our customers to watch TV on their terms when and where they want it," said Mel Coker, Chief Marketing Officer of AT&T Home Solutions. "U-verse has always been about delivering a TV experience built around our customers, and this enhancement gives them even more flexibility and control."
Keeping Pace With Competitors
The U-verse App, which runs off AT&T’s IPTV service, also offers thousands of on demand TV shows and movies, along with extra content and information about the TV show you're watching, including episode synopsis, photos, cast and crew information, and related TV shows.
The app delivers a U-verse remote control with channel guide, lets you control your DVR remotely, and offers advanced search functionality to help you find the content you want. The app is available for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating system. With the new app, AT&T hopes to compete more effectively with cable TV providers like Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox.
We caught up with Paul Erickson, a senior analyst in IHS Electronics & Media’s Consumer Electronics group, to get his take on the new app. He told us the offering reflects AT&T’s move to address a consumer desire to watch more TV outside the home -- and keep pace with its competitors.
Lighting a Competitive Fire
“This trend is one to watch,” he said. “We will see greater and greater capabilities from all pay TV operators rolling out content to alternate devices: smartphones and tablets. This is another lighting of the competitive match in the U.S. pay TV market.”
Erickson predicted an expansion of channel lineups available outside the home, as well as more types of devices and a broader range of operating systems on which content can run. He also expects one-upsmanship from other operators on the mobile TV front.
“This is a good move by AT&T but not surprising given that everybody in the pay TV industry is trying to address this shift in consumer viewing habits,” Erickson said. “If they don’t make it easier for consumers to watch the content they are paying for wherever they want to watch it, then consumers may find another way to watch it that doesn’t involve paying a pay TV subscription.”