T-Mobile’s Binge On scheme looks to be receiving a new partner soon, in the form of free Facebook video streaming, according to industry sources. The two companies have apparently been working on the partnership for a while now, which would see T-Mobile customers be able to watch Facebook videos without consuming any of their monthly data allowance.
The reason that Facebook isn’t already signed up to the service is likely to do with the video requirements of Binge On. Videos from partner services have to send data in a way that can be identified by T-Mobile’s system, which may require providers to alter the way that videos are streamed.
For Facebook, the company is gradually paying more attention to the market for video content and certainly wouldn’t want to see customers use other sites which won’t count towards their data allowances. This move might also persuade some critics of the company’s Free Basics program in India, which sees the company partner up with local carriers to offer free access to Facebook. A similar idea is also said to be in considderation in the US market, according to one source.
Binge On partners originally included ESPN, HBO, and Netflix when the service launched last year, YouTube signed up to the program back in March, and other sites have been steadily joining the program. As with the existing Binge On partnerships, the main condition is that videos streamed through the service must be lower than HD in quality. This caused some controversy last year, when T-Mobile customers began seeing videos from all services appear in lower quality when Binge On was enabled, even if the service was still eating up the MBs on their data plans.
Adding another video service to the data free Binge On list is certainly another win for T-Mobile customers, although some net neutrality activists are concered about some portions of the internet being offered for free while others aren’t. Neither Facebook nor T-Mobile have commented on the plans and we’re still waiting on official announcement.