I’m a big basketball fan, especially the last few minutes of big games, so I’m feeling quite insane this week after some of my favorite teams lost in the earlier rounds! (On a related note, thank goodness, the women from Cal and Stanford are keeping the Bay Area still involved!) For the benefit of our readers outside North America, I’ll explain that the annual “March Madness” U.S. men’s college basketball tournament is currently in full motion for fans of the 60+ teams involved.
I know what you’re thinking, it’s hard to imagine that anything could possibly be more competitive than the current debate about the ultimate winner of 4G wireless standards adoption, but these college basketball fans can get a little crazy about supporting their own favorite.
The growth of online video will be of interest to the CBS television network, which also owns the Internet distribution rights to March Madness coverage. They expect their online video advertising revenues to increase 20 percent this year to $30 million. And you can play back the highlights on your mobile device wherever, whenever and analyze the three pointer at the buzzer! Of course, once that video content is streamed live online, it may also test the limits of wireless carrier networks as eager fans view the video on broadband-equipped mobile devices.
Is this a scenario where mobile carriers will likely be monitoring network backhaul capacity – to ensure that their customer’s video experience is a positive one? Quality of service for the video experience will certainly become the new competitive battleground for wireless carriers — that is, assuming that the recent mobile data traffic forecasts stay on track.
Sporting event finals can trigger unpredictable sudden spikes in bandwidth demand that could easily tax the capacity of most legacy TDM backhaul infrastructure. As we go from mass market to personalized services the network would know which games you want to watch, which highlights you want to archive, and your social network of friends to whom you might like to forward these videos.
Ironically, the basketball tournament games will continue into the beginning of April, passing over the first of the month. A day that’s famous in many countries for hoaxes and practical jokes. According to Wikipedia, “the origin of April Fools’ Day is obscure. One likely theory is that the modern holiday was first celebrated soon after the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar; the term referred to someone still adhering to the Julian Calendar which it replaced.” Anyone with a mobile phone and web access that follows the events during the tournament probably won’t be amused, however, if they’re unable to access video feeds or other rich-media content that’s available online. I’m sure popular social networking sites will also be part of the mix, as frenzied communities of friends and family members comment on their team’s scores.