Friday, October 20, 2006

Mobile TV and the inevitable lack of bandwidth

As you might remember, I am now a fan of mobile TV. No, I do not believe I will spend hours watching TV on my phone, but I feel I occasionally can spend few minutes watching something I taped before on my TiVo (if it is free). My SlingBox has been helpful for my father too, when we were visiting my younger brother in Washington DC and he could watch live soccer while I was driving from the airport (until my daughter at home started watching Sesame Street, but that's a different story...).
Two stories crossed my path today. The first one: "Video-hungry users could push Net to brink: Nortel". The second one: "TV on Mobile Phones: Heat or Hype?". They made me think (out loud, as usual).
If the net, that has been around for ages, cannot support the YouTube crowd, what makes we think Mobile TV will be different? The bandwidth is scarce... So scarce that, as soon as four people in my network cell have a SlingPlayer going on their mobile phone, the data traffic collapses (and I have EVDO). Unfortunately, the success of mobile TV might simply kill it. And I do not think networks will have more bandwidth that fast. That puts me in the Hype category, for now... I am grateful to be in the low bandwidth world of push email and synchronization ;-)
Please, do not get a SlingBox and, mostly, try to stay away from my network cell. I want to be the only one watching TV on my mobile phone, as long as I can. Thank you.