The OTT flood is coming. This was the message of Xiaodong Zhu, CTO of ZTE Europe, who opened proceedings on the third and final day of the Broadband World Forum. Illustrating the pace of change he observed that the operators who have been around for 100 years are having to contend with upstart OTTs with less than 50 employees are able to acquire 50 million plus subscribers in a matter of months.
There were three approaches that carriers are taking he said– outright blocking of the OTT using Deep Packet Inspection, creating unique services to compete with OTT, with examples being Joyn and IPTV, or supporting the OTT with partnerships. His advice was to go with option three but to try and take the initiative in order to monetise. Not so much, if you can’t beat them, join them, but if you can’t beat them – lead them. View his presentation
Mark Newman, chief research officer at Informa Telecoms & Media echoed that theme, suggesting that partnership with OTTs was happening more and more and was the way forward. Conversely, he said that suggestions that OTTs be punished with an outright tax, as has been put forward by some in the industry, was a misstep that would just alienate and annoy.
Samer Salameh, CEO and Director, General Grupo, Salinas Telecom, Colombia told the audience that there was a brand new killer application out there for mobile – television. It’s entertainment he said, but just in a different form. Those in areas where there is no conventional fixed-line internet infrastructure, or even conventional broadcast TV still want to be entertained – and smartphones are the way they want to do it. (Factoid of the day: there are now 6 billion phones in the world, which is more than toothbrushes. We are wondering who has counted all the toothbrushes). The message from Salameh is that as mobile takes over, TV purchasing will move from becoming a house centric purchase, to a personal one. No more fighting over the remote.
We then got a fascinating snapshot from Richard Cooper, controller of digital distribution at the BBC on how it delivered its incredibly comprehensive digital coverage to UK users. With its mantra of ‘never miss a moment’ it delivered 24 streams of high definition content is multiple formats using two CDNs with an adaptive bit-rate that intelligently took into account, the device, the screen size and the network technology being used. See more here
A graph demonstrating the difference between the mobile coverage at the Beijing Olympics and the amount of data from the BBC was the clearest visual indicator of how far we have come in four years –with the data from 2012 dwarfing the total from 2008. Considering that 4G is still in its only stages, means that Rio 2016 should make for an incredibly exciting showcase for the power and advancement of mobile broadband technology. Click here to watch the video of Richards presentation
See you all next year – back in the Amsterdam RAI from 22 – 24 October 2013.