FIFA 2010 World Cup via BlackBerry
We have Hulu, Youtube, and dozens of other streaming video services available to satisfy all of our television desires. The actual television set is almost dead. Even computers might be joining the broken wasteland of CRT television sets that now fill our landfills in the near (okay, eventual) future. According to TopNews, a third of the those in England planning on watching the FIFA 2010 World Cup (which is most likely 90% of the European football embracing nation) will be doing so online. Combine that with the available on the BlackBerry App World or one the streaming sites available, and you have a pretty compelling reason to not worry if you cannot take the time to watch all the matches or even find a decent seat near the television at your party of choice.
Of course, the huge number of fans expected to tune in via their phones might just “over saturate” the networks, according to analysts familiar with bandwidth capabilities in the UK. A single match streamed via smart phone consumes around 400mb of data, per user. Even London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson has been worried about the effect on the country’s cellular networks and has reportedly been meeting with network providers to ensure that they can handle the traffic.
As the internet enabled smart phone becomes the phone of choice for most of the world, cellular bandwidth is going to keep being a thorn in its side. While here’s hoping that millions of fans are able to stream the games that they want midweek when they are forced to go into work, the reality is that the smart phone has evolved faster than the carriers that subsidize them and give them functionality. While the speed of 3G is impressive, the cobbled together networks that support it are in dire need of upgrading. AT&T has been complaining for years about iPhone users using too much bandwidth and clogging their network, resulting in dropped calls and iffy performance. They even have stopped allowing new users to choose unlimited data plans for a flat fee.
The service providers have to bite the bullet and realize that what we want as smart phone users is a wireless internet that is every bit as fast, reliable, and cheap as the wired internet in our homes.
Have fun watching the World Cup!