ATandT Approves 3G SlingPlayer iPhone App

AT&T, after some collaborating and optimizing, announced it will allow Sling Media's SlingPlayer Mobile app to run on its 3G network. The app enables iPhone users to enjoy their home TV programming from anywhere.

AT&T announced is now allowing Sling Media's SlingPlayer Mobile app to run on its 3G network.

The app enables iPhone users to watch live, streaming television, and DVR content and movies downloaded in their homes on their smartphone from anywhere in the world. AT&T previously blocked the app, fearing it would clog up its already struggling network.

Working together, however, the companies settled on an "optimized" version of the app that AT&T is more comfortable with.

"Just as we've worked with Sling Media in this instance, we look forward to collaborating with other developers so that mobile customers can access a wider, more bandwidth-sensitive, and powerful range of applications in the future," Ralph de la Vega, AT&T president and CEO, said in a Feb. 4 statement.

"Collaboration with developers like Sling Media ensures that all apps are optimized for our 3G network to conserve wireless spectrum and reduce the risk that an app will cause such extreme levels of congestion that they disrupt the experience of other wireless customers," de la Vega continued.

The decision was likely also informed by pressure from the Federal Communications Commission, which has made clear that relationships between carriers and manufacturers shouldn't work against the interests and options of consumers.

When on Oct. 6 AT&T announced that it had reversed its policy and would allow VOIP (voice over IP) calls over its network, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski praised the decision.

"I commend AT&T's decision to open its network to VOIP. Opening wireless services to greater consumer choice will drive investment and innovation in the mobile marketplace," said Genachowski.

Given AT&T's change of heart, followed by Apple's updates to its software development kit (SDK), Skype announced on Feb. 3 that it's working on an app that will enable iPhone users to place VOIP calls over 3G networks with "CD-quality sound."

Apparently hounded by fans for a timeline, Skype wrote on its site, "The simple answer is soon."