AT&T not sure if mobile TV will succeed

AT&T's COO Randall Stephenson echoed many in the industry this morning during his keynote when he said, "success does not come from technology, but from placing the user at the center of everything we do, because we are now in a user-generated industry. Make no mistake about it." Stephenson cited familiar metrics to support his claim: One in five customers uses mobile data and 45 percent of today's youth are mobile data users. Stephenson also noted that 12 million users voted on AT&T's joint contest with MySpace for most creative user-generated video. Stephenson said because of these converged services and the importance of user-generated content, it follows that the next killer application is ease of use.

Building on the UGC-themed speech, Stephenson announced that AT&T's video share service will launch in 50 markets this summer, enabling subscribers to broadcast full color streaming video captured live from the phone's camera to another AT&T video share user. Stephenson noted that the service will launch as a one-to-one, peer-to-peer service, but will soon become a one-to-many, broadcast technology that will make use of the other two screens: PC and TV.

Stephenson's presentation concluded by addressing mobile TV critics: "Will consumers want to watch TV on their handset? Quite honestly I don't know." History, however, shows that industries wholly underestimate our future needs, he said. Consider off-based estimates for computing speeds, bandwidth and others: "I suspect we are underestimating how wireless data will be used." -Brian 

ALSO: In an interesting twist on mobile entertainment, chocolate-maker Hershey is using Interop Technologies patent-pending Karaoke Tones platform to create and deliver user-generated content. Article

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