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AT&T to allow SlingPlayer on 3G for iPhone

updated 08:10 am EST, Thu February 4, 2010

AT&T says optimized Sling OK for 3G network

AT&T on Thursday greenlit the use of SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone on its 3G network. The carrier now claims that it has tested the app since mid-December and believes it can run without consuming too much bandwidth. The software is described as "optimized," but it's not clear whether Sling has had to change code to fit AT&T's guidelines.

Both Apple and Sling have been told of the change in policy, though it's not said when the updated app might be approved and available through the App Store.

The decision marks a distinct reversal of AT&T's attitude towards the app, which streams video from a TV-connected Slingbox over the Internet and lets users remotely control some set-top boxes. Initially, the provider only allowed access over Wi-Fi and made the unusual argument that the iPhone was a personal computer where other smartphones were not, banning it from redirecting TV under terms of service. It later had to admit that bandwidth was the issue as it didn't believe the 3G network could handle the load.

Pressure may also come from proposed FCC neutrality rules. The agency hasn't formally committed to regulating mobile apps, but it has said that it may require that cellular carriers, not just landline services, to treat legal apps fairly and avoid discrimination against specific software or protocols. Anticipation of these rules helped contribute to enabling Skype and other iPhone VoIP apps over 3G.


By Electronista Staff


  1. ebeyer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2004


    So they admit it

    When the Slingplayer iPhone app came out last year, you'll recall it was delayed in the app store approval process for an extremely long time (months, if I recall). And then it was expensive ($30) and gimped so it only works on WiFi. This despite the fact that it works just fine in 3G on the Blackberry. This is also despite the fact that several apps that were approved for the iPhone stream all kinds of video.

    Also at the time it was widely suspected that the aforementioned gimping was because of pressure from AT&T but this was denied by AT&T. Please correct me if I'm wrong about this, but as I recall the official explanation had to do with supposed technical limitations and not from AT&Ts concerns about its network.


  1. facebook_Bill

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2010



    OK dude, now this is what I am talking about!


  1. JessicaW

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2010



    They posted a demo for us to test:

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