The SlingPlayer application will come to the iPhone, thanks to Sling Media working with AT&T to adjust the way its video application uses bandwidth on AT&T’s overburdened 3G network. This will be great for people who want to stream television content from their Slingbox at home to their iPhone while traveling, and marks a turning point in the mobile application world, whereby developers and carriers work closely to adapt their apps to the constraints of the mobile network.
AT&T back in April 2009 had barred programs that “allowed third-party video transfers” from its network under its terms of service. After an outcry, the operator changed the wording, basically limiting only Sling Media from its network. The justification for such a move was that the bandwidth required for video would overwhelm the 3G network and exacerbate congestion issues.
However, today the news comes that Sling Media has optimized the application in a way that AT&T finds acceptable, so the carrier has notified Apple that the existing Sling Media app, which runs over a Wi-Fi network, can now use 3G as well. It’s uncertain when users will get the 3G-capable app. Additionally, AT&T will provide developers with 3G network optimization requirements for video and other applications by the end of the first quarter through its developer web site.