Cellular carrier Cingular Wireless demonstrated live phone-to-phone video streaming at International CES earlier this month at the booth of parent AT&T.
The service will be the country's first live phone-to-phone video-streaming service when it goes commercial before the summer with multiple compatible phones. The service will be available in the carrier's 160+ W-CDMA high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) markets, 70 of which are in the top 100 metro areas, but it wasn't certain how many markets would be live before the summer. A spokesman said that at least a substantial number of markets would be live by summer.
The planned service enables one-way live video streaming during a two-way voice call between compatible phones that must be operating in one of Cingular's HSDPA markets. Frame rates could go to 15 fps but will probably be more like 13 fps on average, he said. The service will carry an additional charge, but pricing hasn't been determined.
Cingular's next step is to enable cellphone-to-PC video streaming.
The service was demoed here with LG's CU500 HSDPA phone with embedded video-streaming client and 1.3-megapixel camera, but compatible phones from more than one vendor will be available at launch, the spokesman said. The CU500 features a swiveling video camera that can be aimed at the person holding the phone or at an event that the caller wants to stream.