Are you ready for the new mobile gold rush? Of course you’re not. Though truth be told, the pending growth in mobile video may be more like a video tornado and only a handful of mobile operators are prepared.

Mobile operators across the world face the same twin challenges of slowing growth and ongoing disruption of core services by new Internet & OTT players, even as the broader mobile ecosystem continues to see significant revenue growth. So if you are tired of being just an operator that carries mobile video and prefer to be able to able to monetize it, read on.

Content and Video

video deliveryVideo now accounts for the majority of global mobile data traffic and is forecast to be the key driver of data traffic growth globally. To date, mobile video (and the ability to monetize the content) has been dominated by Internet players, such as YouTube, Netflix, with the operator role simply one of connectivity provider.

However, a number of operators are developing their own content delivery platforms. Singtel, Verizon and PCCW are three prominent examples of this trend, with their HOOQ, Go90 and Viu video platforms respectively. While HooQ and Viu are variants of the subscription-based model, Go90 more closely resembles the Internet business model, with a reliance on advertising for revenues and a focus on millennials.

But for operators many of which have only recently seen their interest and presence in this sector grow—it has spurred something else, a very real monetization opportunity.

If mobile operators can combine connectivity with compelling content, they can play a central role in the emerging online video value chain. And as they capture new customers, they can boost the penetration rates of their mainline mobile broadband services. It is a very tempting proposition, and a potentially a very lucrative one. But turning opportunity into growth will require mobile operators to make careful choices—and to make them soon.

Video from the Cloud

The cloud is transforming the way video content is created, aggregated, and distributed to an myriad of connected devices, as well as the way users engage with this content. And in recent years, the adoption of over-the-top (OTT) technologies has emerged as a critical platform for delivering rich audio, video and other media via the Internet.

With OTT adoption rapidly accelerating, a cloud based platform is the best means for many mobile operators to deliver video services that help businesses in the media and entertainment industry scale their video infrastructure efforts and deliver high-quality, live video and on-demand content to consumers on any device — be it their smartphone, tablet or connected television.

Target Opportunities for Mobile Videomobile video 2

The television industry that we’ve long known is gone—or at least, it’s looking mighty different. Forget the days of gathering around the living room TV for a favorite Saturday night show. Today’s viewers are pulling out tablets, laptops, and smartphones, accessing video content when—and increasingly where—they choose. This transformation hasn’t been subtle. And for industry players, neither are the consequences. In growing numbers, consumers are replacing their traditional cable and satellite TV packages with smaller, more customized, and often less expensive mixes of programming, cobbled together from an array of online and on-demand services.

The TV and video industry are quickly transitioning to video opportunities with smartphones, tablets, and streaming video available anytime, anywhere. As more consumers replace their big-bundle TV packages with à la carte online offerings, an opportunity is emerging for mobile operators and other service providers. Mobile operators can combine mobile broadband (MBB) packages with compelling “over the top” content to become key players in the new TV and mobile space.

So what else can a Mobile Operator do?

And watch this space for a series of blogs on Mobile Video.


Jim O'Leary

Sr. Manager Mobile Solutions Marketing