Guest post from Kirill Filippov, CEO of SPB TV
Mobile video viewing has every chance to become the most important source of information and entertainment within several years globally. According to Ericsson Mobility Report, conducted in Q3 2013, mobile subscriptions globally amounted to 6,6 billion. Even if the real number of subscribers was lower (around 4.5 billion due to the fact that many people have several subscriptions), the growth rate had reached around 40 percent year-on-year. By the end of 2019, this figure is forecasted to reach 9.3 billion, which exceeds the actual population of the planet (7.152 billion in March 2014 according to USCB). In 2013, video accounted for around 35 percent of all mobile data traffic. The prognosis by Ericsson Mobility for 2019 raises this figure to over 50 percent.
In terms of emerging markets, the same prognosis estimates an 11-fold increase in mobile traffic between 2013 and 2019 in Latin America, Central Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. For comparison, in North America and Western Europe this increase will vary from sevenfold to ninefold. Another example given by Deloitte experts predicts that the number of VOD users in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2014 will increase by about 1 million despite of a lack of broadband access to the Internet. But, as opposed to many broadband-equipped homes around the world with terrestrial transmission, the VOD content will be mostly distributed via satellite links to digital video recorders. Mobile gadgets may be potentially considered as such recorders.
But what about LTE? Ericsson Mobility forecasts that 85 percent of North American mobile subscriptions will be LTE by 2019, and 80 percent in the Middle East and Africa (3G/4G), while still being on 2G in 2013. Considering a less distant example, in May-July 2013, Deloitte Global asked participants of its consumer survey about how likely they would be to subscribe to 4G/LTE in the next 12 months. Consumers from countries considered as developing markets proved to be the most active – 54 percent in Mexico, 50 percent in Russia, 37 percent in Brazil. For comparison, the answer “very” or “fairly likely” was given by 27 percent of participants in the US and only 17 percent in Germany. However, in India, LTE had a very limited roll-out at the time when the research was conducted and data from there has not been included in this analysis. The main problem with LTE is existing networks’ potential, which has to be solved first of all in developing regions. At the same time, South Korea is planning to develop 5G networks and promises the very first demonstration of the efficiency of this new technology in 2015.
The impact of mobile video in emerging markets is more than significant, which leaves us with the prospect of mobile video becoming a viewing standard within years globally.