You can now stream live TV on your iPhone using AT&T’s 3G network. Apple has finally approved the new version of the SlingPlayer Mobile app that is enabled with 3G streaming. This comes two weeks after AT&T issued a statement stating that the company was satisfied with the 3G optimized version of Sling Media’s application and hence had no problem in letting them use their network.
Back then, AT&T had written:
“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”
This has been a long fought battle for Sling Media. You might recall that Apple refused to let the earlier version of the SlingPlayer Mobile app operate over AT&T’s 3G network after the carrier claimed that the app would “create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network”. This was contested by Sling Media in a complaint filed with the FCC where the company accused AT&T of discriminatory practices. Sling Media argued that AT&T’s position was inconsistent since other streaming apps like MLB’s were approved. AT&T’s decision to relent is thus seen as a result of Sling Media’s complaint.
The new SlingPlayer Mobile (version 1.2 )for iPhone and iPod touch is available on the App Store for $29.99. Existing customers can upgrade to the new 3G version for free. Mel Martin from TUAW writes that the iPhone app works well on 3G with “acceptable” picture quality and “good sync” between audio and video though there appears to be a marginal delay during channel changes.