A week and a half ago, we noted that all of these hyped up fee-based mobile TV efforts were pretty much doomed, thanks to the rise of place shifting technologies from companies like SlingMedia and Orb (and, most likely, eventually directly from cable and satellite providers themselves). We also mentioned at the end of that post that the mobile operators were likely to whine and complain about how their "unlimited" data plans were being abused and how they needed to block the system. What we didn't necessarily realize was just how quickly we'd be proven right. Forbes is pointing out that the big mobile operators are balking at the idea and may not let systems like Sling Media's work on their phones. It's a position rightly called out as backwards and short-sighted for operators going against what their subscribers clearly want. However, more to the point, it's not at all clear why Forbes implies that Sling Media even needs permission or partnerships with the mobile operators. All they need to do is create the app that works and make it downloadable. They have the app already. As long as the mobile operators actually sell "unlimited data plans," then it would seem that there's really nothing else that needs to be said. Users can just choose to use it. Of course, we all know those plans really aren't unlimited. However, the operators would really need to proactively step in and block things like the Slingbox -- and that's only likely to stir up a negative PR storm they probably don't want (not that it's always stopped them in the past).
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