It’s always exciting preparing for an event like IBC. As we’re taking new products and solutions to the market there has to be a balance between informing those who are starting to look at a new vertical or opportunity, compared to those who have already launched new services. By going out to the wider market we get some valuable insight in into the direction we see industry segments moving in, and at what speed.
For Mobile Video, we’re definitely seeing an acceleration in operators launching and delivering services. Our conversations have moved significantly away from ‘What should I be doing’, and much more into ‘How do I do this’ and ‘How do I make it better’.
Mobile operators are aware of the growth in mobile video – they are seeing it increasingly flow over their networks, heading toward the 80%+ of mobile traffic that our Visual Networking Index predicts. And the content providers are seeing the opportunity that mobile delivery will give them to reach and engage new audiences. For example, they know that millennials are using mobile devices to watch more content for longer, and they need to ensure they can keep, and monetise, these viewers.
But both sides are seeing some challenges.
The mobile operators need to be able to scale their networks right now to cope with the extra demand. We know 5G is coming, but they can’t wait for that to satisfy increasing consumer requirements. At IBC there was much discussion about the latest Apple announcement with the iPhone X, a device that will be able to display some of the highest quality mobile experiences on the market. Users will expect to be able to take advantage of the video features of this new device, and operators will need to meet these increased data requirements on their network.
We also spoke about the scale challenge facing operators. The announcement of the Jio phone from Reliance – bringing mobile video to the mass market in India, at scale – is also seen as significant by many operators. An affordable device delivering video into new markets presents a huge opportunity for growth, and opens up new areas for service delivery, as long as the operator can scale effectively.
For the content providers, they need to make sure their content is increasingly mobile ready. So what does this mean? It’s ensuring that the content is optimised for mobile streaming and making sure the content is easier to identify as it flows across the operators network. It’s about having the flexibility to re-purpose the content into different kinds of bundles and packages more suited for mobile business models such as zero-rating and skinny bundles. And it’s about having the tools to measure how the content is being consumed.
And this takes us to the crux of the changes we’re seeing – co-operation and collaboration. Mobile operators and content providers now see the value in working together. They understand the benefits in bringing their two businesses together to create exponential value for their stake holders, and by doing so creating the best possible service for their consumers. We’re already seeing this today with bundled content and data packages becoming ever more popular. And both sides see the enormous potential in sharing their data to build customer insight.
At Cisco, we’ve been facilitating these relationships. By using our integrated Mobile Video capability we’re seeing operators work closely with their new partners to implement new relationships and business models that will keep their consumers happy, and loyal. And with integration comes automation. Our customers can create new services and deliver new business models faster, and more efficiently than ever, scaling their business without increasing their OPEX costs. As the market is moving from Why, to How, our customers are able to move from How, to Now.
We’re going to be taking our solution on the road, and we’ll be at CES in Las Vegas in January, and Mobile World Congress on Barcelona in February. In the meantime, if you want to know more please visit the Infinite Video Platform page.