Posted by Thomas Noszczak
The conversation around LTE Broadcast can often seem to focus on future rather than contemporary commercial benefits. Here, IP&TV News talks to two leading solution providers about the present-day opportunities for the ground-breaking technology:
Jim Nelson (Vice President of Sales, LTE-Broadcast, Quickplay): While the application of LTE Broadcast is new, it continues to gain momentum with operators globally and is a prime candidate for both operators and content providers to address demands associated with the rise in mobile video consumption.
The initial benefit of LTE Broadcast is gains in efficiency. By increasing capacity, operators reduce costs and improve experience levels as network traffic intensifies. There are also a number of near term options for monetizing LTE Broadcast, specifically within the realm of enhanced wireless or PAY TV services. The most immediate opportunity is in-venue streaming for live events. Operators can offer exclusive content specific to a sporting match or concert (for example), and charge for access on a per-event basis. LTE Broadcast can also be leveraged to deliver push VOD and subscription services as an upsell for delivering new channels or premium content. Additionally, enterprise services including digital signage will benefit from LTE Broadcast.
However, critical to leveraging the investment in LTE Broadcast is a proven service delivery platform. While not as mature as TV Everywhere and OTT video services, one of the key advantages to LTE Broadcast is in having an integrated ecosystem in place to bring together eMBMS infrastructure and devices to trial and commercialize the technology. In order to carry out the transition to Next Generation services, mobile network operators might consider a managed end-to-end solution to leverage the market while reducing risk. Ahead of any service launch, it is critical that providers also build a strong business case that will achieve the objectives for the service, whether it be a new revenue stream, incremental revenue or cost savings.
Terry Costa (Marketing Director, Expway): LTE Broadcast has evolved from an opportunity to a necessity. Although operators (network operators and mobile carriers) look at future revenue potential when considering LTE Broadcast, they’re focused on finding cost effective ways to deal with exponentially growing bandwidth demands.
Revenue monetization is realized when operators focus on end-user requirements: Consumers are addicted to wireless video access. Fans will pay to watch their favourite sports teams with improved with beautiful and crystal clear video. Many operators initially invested in stadium applications designed to bring in added revenue through ads or paid subscriptions. They are now moving to several new projects, differing largely by country.
For example, watching TV in the subway is popular in Japan, while India is betting on news and videos in taxicabs. In other countries like the US and UK, the technology is being leveraged for Public Safety. During emergencies such as wild fires in California, firemen dispatch and firefighting progress need to be monitored and managed. Public Safety forces will pay for these applications. Operators also benefit from providing this information to the general public, so they know if their houses are in danger, their children still safe at school, or which roads to avoid. This information needs to be dispatched wirelessly, in real-time, and with video.
LTE Broadcasting will be part of 5G, but is already ubiquitous. Equipment manufactures, RAN vendors, modem and end-user mobile devices makers all have LTE Broadcast projects. Verizon Go90 service launched just last week is a great example. There are already 10 device models being supported.
This year’s TV Connect (26th – 28th April 2016 ExCeL, London) sees the introduction of a special LTE Broadcast content track. For more information, click here to download the free brochure for the world’s leading connected entertainment event.