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So NewTeeVee readers might be forlorn over the lack of a video camera in the latest iPhone, especially since you guys asked for it, but as a consolation prize you can watch other people’s content over the AT&T 3G network.
The first iPhone allowed for slow downloading of YouTube content and other video. But 3G networks are, on average, twice as fast as the EDGE networks. So a 3G iPhone means people might actually use the video function, rather than starting a video download and quickly wondering if it’s really worth the wait just to watch a few cats on a treadmill. And if people start using the video function, that could lead to network problems.
A recent research report from In-Stat points out that today 3G mobile TV (TV such as Mobi.tv that is delivered via a cellular network) penetration from 3G subscribers is below 10 percent for many mobile operators. Worldwide 3G mobile TV subscribers are forecast to reach 42 million in 2012, up sevenfold from last year’s count of 6 million 3G mobile TV subscribers. However, iPhone users are more apt to use their phone and all of its features, which means that 3G video services could see more rapid growth on networks supporting the iPhone.
Apple changed the bandwidth requirements of broadband networks with its introduction of iTunes. Every ISP will tell you how consumers suddenly started using their broadband to download music and then movies, resulting in a new baseline for bandwidth traffic on their networks. The 3G iPhone, with its video capabilities, could be positioned to do the same thing to mobile broadband. Let’s hope network operators are ready.