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What Spectrum Crisis: Verizon Wireless Tries to Monetize Video Usage With New App

Verizon encourages customers to pig out on wireless-delivered streaming video.

Despite claims of a looming data usage crisis created by insufficient wireless spectrum, Verizon Wireless is introducing a new app that will encourage customers to find and watch streaming video on their mobile devices.

Viewdini premiers today on the Android platform, and Verizon hopes customers will use it to hunt down their favorite videos from Netflix, Hulu Plus, mSpot, and Comcast Xfinity, all from the Verizon Wireless app.

“We are just seeing a hunger for people wanting to watch video,” Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead said in an interview with AllThingsD. “I think this will capture the audience’s imagination.”

If customers use it to stream bandwidth heavy video on a tiered data plan, Verizon will also have the customer’s attention when the bill arrives.

Viewdini, considered one of Verizon’s “key product launches” for the year, does not amount to much on examination. The service does not host videos, it merely indexes them from other videocentric websites. The app will be exclusive to Verizon Wireless, but is not the company’s first foray in the competitive video streaming marketplace.

The Verizon Video app offers streamed video entertainment, but with a twist. Many titles offered by Verizon Video cannot be accessed while on Wi-Fi and require the company’s 3G or 4G network to watch, which counts against your usage allowance.

Mead

There is no indication yet whether Viewdini will have similar restrictions.

While Mead claims the company has several early warning indicators for customers approaching their monthly usage cap, he admits the company hopes to make additional revenue from customers who choose to exceed their allowance and buy additional data.

“We look at it as great flexibility for customers,” Mead called that choice.

While Verizon joins other wireless carriers in calling urgently for additional wireless spectrum, its marketing department does not recognize any wireless data shortage, and continues to introduce new products that encourage their customers to use an increasing amount of data, from which Verizon admits it will earn an increasing percentage of its revenue.

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  • Tammy Nelson: This is crap! Why are the customers always losing and they always win? I pay quite a bit for cable and internet. If you are cutting channels, at le...
  • Mike Colceri: THIS TOTALY SUCKS!!! I LOVE CHILLER , AND NOW YOU'VE GONE AND GOTTEN RID OF IT!!!!😠 BUT MY BILL STAYS THE SAME.....MINUS MY CHILLER!!! WHOEVER IS THE ...
  • BobInIllinois: Jo, FYI on this. YouTube wanted to get this streaming service up fast. The 5 big US cities that you listed all have network tv stations owned and ...
  • Dave Burstein: Phil Good work on this. Nearly no one has reported that the FCC is paying AT&T for an offering they would have anyway....
  • Jo: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia & San Francisco Bay Area This is it? it's just like google fiber.. a failure....
  • BobInIllinois: Wouldn't this be bad news for all those small, independent WISPs out there?...
  • Jp Eres: I finally filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (New York) as well as the FCC. Magically after months and months of rude customer service...
  • LG: Let me guess.. it comes with a 200Gb bandwidth cap too, right? This month, for the first time, I actually reached my 1 Tb limit with Comcast. It's m...
  • Kerry: This makes four channels that have been removed in the last 60 days. We are still paying the same ....
  • Kerry: Should the F. C. C. step in and stop what seems to be consumer fraud ....
  • Kerry: Very upset with N. B.C. For dropping the chiller channel . I subscribed to tier 1 so I could get all of the channels listed in tier one. It is the...
  • Sam: Hello, I'm Thomas Rutledge CEO Of Charter Cable. My Shareholders in NYC-NJ are on strike. I'm made a whopping $98.5 million dollars. My Union IBEW 3 S...

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