Cingular Video is here. Now you the Cingular customer can watch up to five minutes of video from your favorite TV shows on your mobile phone.
How is this different from MobiTV? Well, that Cingular offering is available for 2.5G phones. Cingular Video is designed for the network’s new 3G offerings.
The initial plan is to offer content from 18 channels, including NBC, ESPN, Fox News, HBO, and Cartoon Network. More offerings are expected in coming months.
The catch, of course, is that the “free” service must be taken advantage of by buying an unlimited 3G data package, which will run you US$19.99 a month (and that is on top of your normal bill). Further, if you have to see the last three minutes of “The Sopranos” on your mobile phone on the way home from your evening meeting, you’ll have to pay US$4.99 a month more, because HBO is a premium channel.
Why do this? Well, you’d be one of the first on your block to have a 3G phone and 3G-quality video on that phone. You’d also be among those customers who would presumably be offered extensions of those services once they become available.