This feature provides the ability to play video content. While many phones can play downloaded, pre-recorded video content, "streaming" allows immediate playback as the video content is sent over the network, instead of waiting for a full video file to download first. This permits real-time viewing of live event and news broadcasts.
Since video is very data-intensive, the performance of this feature depends heavily on the speed of the data connection (packet data).
Many carriers offer streaming video services that are part of a closed system. A carrier-approved phone must be used to view the streaming video offered by that carrier.
Some third-party video streaming services also exist, and some phones can connect to those as well. There are various encoding technologies and protocols for streaming video. The streaming video player / viewer software on the phone must be compatible with the format of the video stream.