Super Bowl to be Streamed Online by NBC

December 21, 2011

This post is from our new site, Mobile Sports Report.

In a huge decision that will no doubt increase the worldwide audience for the most-viewed live event, NBC will stream the Super Bowl online along with broadcasts of the network’s Wild Card playoff games and the NFL Pro Bowl, according to an Associated Press report. Users of Verizon Wireless’s NFL Mobile app will also have access to the games, along with additional camera views and in-game replays.

Forget college games — there’s no doubt that even with its already huge TV audience, the Super Bowl would likely become the most-viewed online sports event ever, even if it’s just on a laptop or phone in the bathroom of the house hosting the Super Bowl party. Though we haven’t yet been able to find any press releases from all the participating companies we are also betting that Verizon will use the Super Bowl access in a massive way to promote its NFL Mobile app, which it has been offering free of charge to new high-end cellphone customers. NFL Mobile users currently can watch NBC’s Sunday night games live, along with Thursday night NFL Network broadcasts and ESPN’s Monday Night Football games.

View the rest of the post at Mobile Sports Report.

AT&T Announces New LTE Markets, LTE Tablet and Free LTE Phone Promo

November 14, 2011

Ma Bell is still playing catch-up when it comes to following Verizon’s lead in launching a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network — but devoted AT&T customers who want to upgrade to the company’s 4G option may want to take advantage of the newest deal, where AT&T is giving away a 4G smartphone with the purchase of a 4G tablet and the obligiatory 2-year contracts.

As part of the LTE news blitz Monday AT&T also announced the forthcoming addition of six new markets for its LTE service, bringing the total of live markets to 15 when the services come online Nov. 20. The new markets, according to AT&T, are Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Indianpolis and Charlotte, N.C. The Vegas announcement is the most fun, making Sin City without a doubt the most connected place in the U.S., with either WiMAX or LTE 4G services from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint/Clearwire and MetroPCS.

The new LTE tablet, also available on Nov. 20, is the Samsung Galxy Tab 8.9, named for its 8.9-inch screen. Its price with a 2-year contract is $479.99, but if you sign a 2-year contract for a phone you can get that free, either the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket or Samsung Galaxy S II. It also looks like you need to sign up for separate data plans for both the tablet and the phones; too bad, because this promotion could have been a cool way for AT&T to introduce the family plan or one-plan-for-multiple devices idea that everyone keeps talking about, but nobody introduces. I guess we will have to wait for innovation on pricing.

AT&T Announces LTE Phones, Says 2/3 of Markets Have HSPA+

October 31, 2011

AT&T’s game of catch-up in the Long Term Evolution (LTE) networking game took a big leap forward today with the announcement of two LTE-capable smartphones for AT&T, Android-powered offerings from HTC and Samsung. AT&T also announced the addition of the next markets to get LTE service, a list that includes Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore and Athens, Ga.

Though the LTE advancements are welcome for a nation looking for more high-speed networking what may be more significant to AT&T customers is a claim that the company says it has now completed the software and backhaul improvements to support its HSPA+ flavor of 4G over two-thirds of its coverage area, meaning that AT&T no longer has to call out its 4G markets like it did earlier this summer. When you now go to the AT&T 4G coverage map the only “new” markets highlighted are the ones with LTE or about to get LTE; there is no longer any pop-up distinction for the 4G HSPA+ coverage, like the map had earlier this year.

Though AT&T still won’t publish a list of HSPA+-enabled markets — we are still asking company spokespeople to point us to one, if one exists — our guess is now that the LTE launch is finally underway AT&T doesn’t have to play its we’ll-call-anything-4G game anymore. We’d still like to see a coverage map with more honesty, however, with actual tower locations and expected coverage speeds. But we’re not holding our breath.