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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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  • JD: CLEAR has without a doubt been the absolute BEST internet service I’ve ever (and I’ve used several ISP’s since 1991) used, PERIOD!!! Will Sprint ...
  • Jason: I agree, cap to limit congestion is a lie. So with capping everyone you have high congestion for the first two weeks of the billing cycle then it fal...
  • Jason: I work from home and I'll be damned if they are going to charge me any fees or cap my usage. Just wait until Google fiber comes to Phoenix and the ex...
  • chris: was just curious to what cox had to say about all this cash cow bussiness and heres what they told me Thank you for choosing Cox Communications....
  • Joe V: I hope the people of New Jersey are happy. They voted for Chris Christie and this is exactly what they got....
  • Susan: After diligently watching my credit score for over a year and how negative as well as positive postings affect it, I have a hard time believing that o...
  • David Therchik: An intense investigation needs to put into this! As soon as one starts I bet they'll stop charging/cheating people from over usage. Before they bought...
  • Charles Bingham: I did but customer no service was no help - said it did no good to have pass word with symbols, cap and small letters and #'s. IF only I had an alte...
  • Phillip Dampier: That assumes this customer had access to a working usage meter and notification messages and ignored them. Evidently it was big enough of a problem fo...
  • Are you kidding me...: "Over the years" people are using the internet differently. If your bill went up, you have usage. Responsible would be calling and talking to them ab...
  • Charles Bingham: Actually my usage has decreased over the years as I sold my business and only kept the internet for a few tax returns that I still do, no employees no...
  • Are you kidding me...: This entire article reeks of "poor me, I'm a victim and I can't be responsible about my own Internet usage, my own bills or my own actions." Grow up....

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