Looking for new revenue, cellphone providers begin pushing video

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It seems that wireless providers will be ignoring that pesky “phone” part in “cellphone” in the coming months, instead promoting them as portable video gadgets. So, great news for those of you who simply want a cellphone with decent reception and battery life.

Some 89 percent (!) of Americans already have cellphones, so wireless providers, say analysts, will increasingly turn to things like video streaming as avenues of increased, sustained revenue. The Los Angeles Times mentions a few watershed moments that point to the rise in video, from the launch of the iPhone to carriers’ unlimited data plans. Whether or not you can get people to pay $15 a month to watch sports clips while on the train is the biggest obstacle to the wireless providers, especially now that even the most basic cellphones can play video in some capacity.

And now I turn to you (like a flower leaning toward the sun), the tech elite. Do you A) watch video on your cellphone and B) pay for that privilege? I can totally see watching TV shows you grabbed off a BitTorrent tracker on your iPhone or whatever, but paying the likes of Verizon Wireless or AT&T to watch their “hot” content? Sorry, I can find my own video. That, or I’ll read a book. Nothing screams “creep” quite like watching “The Office” on the subway at rush hour, only to laugh out loud and look like a total weirdo.

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