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The Cell Phone-Satellite Radio Connection
When The Two Finally Converge, Satellite Radio will Come Into Its Own
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A recent news story from Reuters said RealNetworks, the company that pioneered streaming media ("RealAudio" and "RealVideo"), was going to partner with Europe's Vodafone to stream live audio and video to cell phones.

RealNetworks previously cut deals with other cell phone industry providers including Nokia and Ericsson in an effort to secure it's place in wireless for the company's proprietary streaming method.

Plans already include streaming music to cell phones and "video feeds of traffic trouble spots", according to Reuters.

First cell phones freed us from "landlines". Then, they entertained us with games, photos and short video clips.

The cell phone is Life's "killer app" and it's just beginning.

The beauty of RealAudio and RealVideo is it does not require much additional hardware. It is basically a software-based solution for media - adequate, for the moment.

And while RealVideo might remain a streaming video standard for the foreseeable future, I can't say the same about RealAudio.

We all know the consumer is constantly putting more and more demands on product providers. Tomorrow's cell phones are going to be as powerful as today's portable satellite receivers when it comes to providing us with entertainment options. We're going to demand it.

In the future, I predict your cell phone will have the ability to pick up hundreds of audio and video channels, from both satellite feeds and the Internet.

Today, the portable units for XM and Sirius are fairly small. Even the antenna needed for reception has been shrunk significantly. But, when the technology evolves, the wireless, mobile phone is where Satellite Radio will have found the common denominator in reaching the masses.

When they DO figure out how to put it all in a package small enough to hitch-a-ride in a cell phone, these celestial services will have finally come into their own.

- Corey Deitz

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