Regional wireless provider C Spire is entering into an interesting resale relationship with DISH Network. Under the agreement, C Spire will market DISH services in their retail footprint, with special emphasis on their TV Everywhere and Hopper DVR services.
A DISH spokesman tells me that the resale relationship does not offer an actual point-of-sale in C Spire’s retail stores. Rather, C Spire offers some promotional “shelf space” for DISH products. Interested customers still need to connect with DISH directly through a call center to sign up for any of the promoted services, with C Spire gaining some form of referral fee.
“With DISH, wireless customers can tune in to their home TV and watch their favorite sports team or television program on their wireless mobile device,” said Joseph Clayton, CEO of DISH in a DISH press release. “This convenience is made possible by the convergence of DISH technology and C Spire’s mobile broadband services. DISH is the only pay-TV provider that enables wireless customers to watch live TV anywhere, inside and outside the home.”
Adding visibility to multimedia applications like TV Everywhere in retail stores makes some sense in the context of wireless carriers transforming themselves into mobile broadband companies, where mobile video is a key application. C Spire is undergoing such a transformation, from its previous iteration, Cellular South.
The challenge of course with mobile video, is that it quickly consumes most customers’ capped wireless data plans, making the application a bandwidth hog that customers will have to use sparingly.
For C Spire though, this mobile video resale arrangement may have additional intentions. C Spire does offer a $30/month “Monthly CHOICE Streaming Infinite” option for its wireless plans, which gives subscribers “unlimited video streaming.”
C Sspire distinguishes video streaming from a traditional data plan. Most of their data plans cap video streaming at 30 minutes per month, regardless of the data allowance. But for an additional $30/month, customers get the unlimited streaming package, which would seem to make the most sense for customers looking to truly take advantage of DISH’s TV Everywhere packages.
“As a leader in wireless technology and innovation, we’re committed to helping consumers personalize their smartphones and tablets in new, meaningful and relevant ways,” said Hu Meena, president and CEO for C Spire Wireless in the same DISH press release. “Three-screen convergence is an important element of our personalized services and DISH will help us deliver a converged, integrated video and entertainment experience for consumers on their smartphones and tablets.”
C Spire customers who take advantage of the DISH promotion today may come up a little short regarding mobile video, considering C Spire currently only offers 3G connectivity. They have announced a 4G LTE migration plan, scheduled to begin in September of this year.