AT&T Approves SlingPlayer Mobile iPhone App to Stream Live TV Over 3G

BY Andy

Published 4 Feb 2010

SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone

SlingPlayer Mobile, the application that lets you watch TV on your iPhone or iPod touch will now stream live TV over AT&T's 3G network. This was announced by the carrier in a recently released media statement. 

This comes nearly a year after the iPhone app went on sale on the iPhone App Store

In the statement, AT&T wrote:

"Since mid-December 2009, AT&T has been testing the app and has recently notified Sling Media — as well as Apple — that the optimized app can run on its 3G network"

Back then, AT&T dismissed SlingPlayer Mobile as a bandwidth hungry application that "could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network."

Following this, Sling Media raised a complaint with the FCC accusing AT&T of discriminatory practices arguing that their app was unfairly denied access to AT&T's 3G network while other similar apps like Major League Baseball's were allowed. Sling further claimed that their network dynamically adjusted the bandwidth based on network conditions and hence should not cause additional strain. The New York Times writer Brad Stone claims AT&T's indefensible position as the reason for the company's decision to relent. 

Sling Media has announced that the updated version of the app is still pending Apple's approval. However, if you are one of the existing customers, you may be eligible for a free upgrade. 

The news comes at a crucial time ahead of the iPad launch. A media streaming app like SlingPlayer could be extremely popular on a platform like iPad and AT&T's decision to allow streaming over 3G could be a shot in the arm for Sling Media. What do you think? Will the launch of the iPad make a live TV streaming application like SlingPlayer a killer app? Tell us what you think in the comments. 

[via The New York Times]