It Was Bound to Happen: Slinging over 3G

Thanks to AT&T you can Sling over 3G, but will Apple now allow it?

year ago, Sling Media, a subsidiary of EchoStar, introduced a nifty application for the Apple iPhone that allowed users with a Slingbox at home to watch and control their home television signal from their handsets.

The only problem: AT&T said that such a bandwidth-intensive video service would overwhelm its network, so it limited the application to work only over an iPhone’s Wi-Fi connection. TV lovers and techies worldwide cried out in anguish.

But all that is about to change. AT&T announced Thursday morning that it will now allow the SlingPlayer iPhone app to stream live over its 3G network.

“Since mid-December 2009, AT&T has been testing the app and has recently notified Sling Media — as well as Apple — that the optimized app can run on its 3G network,” said the carrier in a press release.

Sling, in addition to various consumer groups, had complained to the Federal Communications Commission that AT&T’s policy was discriminatory, since other applications, such as Major League Baseball’s, also stream live video over AT&T’s 3G network.

AT&T appears to have recognized that its position was indefensible and relented.

Nothing like the words “relented” and “indefensible” in the morning!