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OTT revenues to reach US$42 billion by 2020

OTT revenues to reach US$42 billion by 2020 | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Online TV and video revenues from fixed broadband networks will more than double in the next six years, reaching US$42.34 billion (€33 billion) globally in 2020, according to Digital TV Research. 

The new report, which covers 51 countries, estimates that the fixed OTT video revenue figure will climb from just US$3.96 billion in 2010 and an expected US$19.03 billion in 2014.

The research claims that online TV and video advertising, which has been “the key driver for the OTT sector,” will continue to see rapid growth – climbing from US$2.4 billion in 2010 to US$8.3 billion in 2014 and US$18.1 billion in 2020.

SVOD revenues are also tipped to continue to rise from US$1.06 billion in 2010 to $7.65 billion in 2014 and US$16.77 billion in 2020.

“This means that SVOD will contribute 40% of total OTT revenues in 2020, up from 27% in 2010,” according to Digital TV Research.

Rental and pay-per-view revenues will expand from US$197 million in 2010 to US$2.8 billion in 2020, while download-to-own revenues are forecast to climb from US$332 billion in 2010 to US$4.64 million in 2020.

Overall, the US will remain the dominant territory for online TV and video revenues, but its share of revenues will drop from 59% in 2010 (US$2.3 million) to 37% in 2020 (US$15.5 million) as international markets catch up, said the research.

“China’s online television and video revenues will soar from just US$37 million in 2010 to US$3.03 billion in 2020 – to push China up to third place in the world rankings, with Japan in second place,” said Digital TV Research.

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Netflix signs French IPTV deal

Netflix signs French IPTV deal | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

A deal that means Netflix will be available on Bouygues’ Bbox sets from November represents the first such agreement the VOD service had secured in France.

Netflix will be available on the boxes from November via the Bbox Sensation box, and later will be distributed through Android TV Box users. Mobile users can access Netflix as of today.

To this point, Netflix had failed to secure carriage on any French platform following disagreements over low carriage fees and bandwidth concerns. In the US, Netflix is said to account for a third of all internet traffic at certain times.

“We’re delighted and very proud to announce this partnership deal with the world leader in SVOD. We in
tend to continue enhancing our offer so that our customers can enjoy the best innovative content, whether at home or on the move,” said Olivier Roussat, chairman and CEO of Bouygues Telecom.

“We’re very happy to announce this partnership with Bouygues Telecom in order to provide the amazing Netflix
experience to its customers,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chairman and CEO.

Netflix has also faced stinging criticism for basing its European office in the Netherlands, meaning it does not have to comply with strict French content quotas. In a bid to allay this, Netflix recently announced it was financing Marseille, a drama produced in France that will run on all of its international operations.

It has also gone on a French buying spree, taking a 100-hour package from Paris-based distributor Prime Entertainment in one deal, and acquiring French-originated toon Wakfu in another.

Hastings said that Netflix would also commission more French originals in addition to its existing plan to make political drama Marseille.

Netflix is also launching in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourgthis year.

In addition to Netflix originals including Orange is the New Black and Hemlock Grove, the launch will also see the arrival of drama series Fargo in France for the first time, along with From Dusk Till Dawn and Penny Dreadful.

In addition to Hollywood movies and series, Netflix will show iconic French movies including À Bout de Souffle, Le Mépris, Actrices, Fais pas ci, fais pas ça and recent series Un Village Français.

Netflix is to launch in Germany tomorrow. According to a report last week in business weekly WirtschaftsWoche, citing unnamed sources, the company will partner with Deutsche Telekom to reach end users, while Vodafone has also been named as a potential partner.

Patrick Lopez's insight:

Pay TV and OTT redefine new boundaries as business models merge due to consumers' changes in viewing habits.

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AT&T, SoftBank, T-Mobile execs push for wireless carve-out in net neutrality guidelines

Executives from a handful of the nation's top wireless carriers unanimously rejected arguments that wireless networks should fall under the same net neutrality guidelines as wireline networks. The comments are notable in light of a speech this week from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler hinting that the agency is considering rules that would apply much more strict open Internet guidelines onto wireless carriers than it did in 2010.

Leonard Cali, senior vice president of global public policy for AT&T (NYSE: T), said that applying the same net neutrality rules onto wireless as wireline would "chill innovation." Cali made his comments here at the 4G World event, held in conjunction with the CTIA Super Mobility Week trade show. Cali argued that applying stricter net neutrality guidelines onto wireless carriers would cause them to either seek FCC approval for virtually every action, or would cause them to pay fines for net neutrality infractions--either way, he said such a move would slow the development of the market.

"It's an incredibly complicated system," argued Bruce Gottlieb, executive vice president of legal and regulatory affairs for SoftBank in Washington, D.C. Gottlieb said that, during the past few years, device and platform companies like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Samsung Electronics and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) have gained as much if not more control over the mobile user's experience than wireless carriers, a situation that casts questions over any FCC effort to impose net neutrality guidelines on wireless carriers and not others in the value chain.

Earlier this week Wheeler hinted that the agency may take a stricter approach to its forthcoming net neutrality rules for wireless. "The basic issue that is raised is whether the old assumptions upon which the 2010 rules were based match new realities," Wheeler noted, explaining that LTE is now a widespread technology, unlike in 2010, and today there are far more smartphones and tablets on wireless networks.

"The core difference between fixed networks and mobile networks has not changed," argued Luisa Lancetti, chief counsel of law and policy with T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS).

In its original guidelines, the FCC drew a line between wired and wireless networks, leaving room for wireless operators to have more flexibility--a "reasonable" amount of control over network management--in how they can manage and control their networks due to the limited amount of spectrum and bandwidth they have to use.

"Our Open Internet proceeding will look closely at both the question of what is 'reasonable' and the related subject of how network management practices can be transparent to consumers and edge providers," Wheeler said.

Patrick Lopez's insight:

As I had predicted for over a year now, wireless network operators petition for exemption of net neutrality rules.

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Openwave Mobility | Openwave Mobility First to Deploy Mobile Video Optimization in the Public Cloud

Openwave Mobility | Openwave Mobility First to Deploy Mobile Video Optimization in the Public Cloud | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Openwave Mobility, a software innovator enabling operators to manage and monetize mobile data, today announced it has successfully implemented the industry's first public cloud-based mobile data optimization solution for a prominent North American service provider.

This is the first known deployment utilizing the public cloud to optimize mobile traffic. Operators utilizing optimization via a public cloud can in some cases dramatically simplify their infrastructure planning and utilize economies of scale and "pay per use" on-demand elasticity. The public cloud deployment of video optimization is especially attractive to operators with roaming traffic or those who have fluctuating demands. DynaMO is also the industry's most comprehensive mobile data optimization solution. The NFV-enabled solution combines contextually-selective and congestion-aware optimization techniques to optimize video, audio and web content.

"This deployment of DynaMO in the public cloud is a first for the mobile industry and represents a new CAPEX-reduction opportunity for mobile service providers," said Indranil Chatterjee, Vice President of Product Management, Marketing and Strategy at Openwave Mobility. "We seamlessly deployed our virtualized DynaMO solution for a North American service provider with zero disruption, and in a fraction of the time required for a bare metal deployment. DynaMO brings greater agility, less risk, and lower costs, while allowing operators to benefit from a SaaS model leveraging their own private cloud or a public cloud."

Over 50 percent of traffic on mobile networks is video. Openwave Mobility's powerful DynaMO solution is equipped to maximize the efficiency of data transport over wireless networks and optimizes HD video and audio in real-time. DynaMO provides operators the option of hosting in the cloud or on the network and can be deployed in a virtualized environment with dynamic scaling that is fully aligned with NFV initiatives. DynaMO has been recognized by the industry multiple times, most recently winning Mobility TechZone LTE Visionary Award and being listed by Light Reading as a finalist in Light Reading's Leading Lights Awards.

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Vantrix Announces Support for HP Moonshot at IBC 2014

Vantrix Announces Support for HP Moonshot at IBC 2014 | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Vantrix, a global provider of media optimization and delivery solutions to service and content providers, today announced support for its software-defined Vantrix Media Platform (VMP) on HP Moonshot, enabling live and on-demand video processing for multiscreen experiences. Vantrix will highlight the support at the International Broadcast Conference (IBC) in Amsterdam September 12-16, 2014.

VMP is a software-defined video-processing, optimization, caching and analytics platform, available as a turnkey appliance for deployment on-premises or in the cloud. Built on OpenStack for virtualization, it offers a modular, pluggable and extensible architecture for video transcoding and optimizing media experiences via adaptive bitrate streaming for delivery to TVs, PCs and mobile devices.

"The Vantrix Media Platform running together with HP Moonshot achieves industry-leading performance for live and VoD transcoding, which is critical as the industry moves to 4K/UHD," said Jean Mayrand, president of Vantrix Corporation. "The integration of our open modular, pluggable media workflow solution and our virtualized graphics processing, together with high-density servers from HP, brings a new dimension of scalability to video processing."

"Operators and broadcasters are reaching a point where the space, power and cost demands of traditional technology are no longer sustainable," said Susan Blocher, vice president of Moonshot marketing and business development at HP. "HP Moonshot combined with the Vantrix Media Platform will accelerate innovation while delivering breakthrough efficiency and scale to video transcoding and multiscreen delivery with lower costs."

Using accelerated virtualized graphics processing, VMP running on HP Moonshot can deliver up to 450 simultaneous, real-time VoD transcodes or live feeds. With support for HP Moonshot's high-density 4.3RU platform, content owners and service providers will be able to reduce operational costs and lower power and space requirements in a highly scalable appliance using 45 individually serviceable hotplug cartridges.

VMP is installed as a virtual machine and operates on OpenStack, enabling flexibility and scalability. A single server can run concurrent applications -- such as Live and VoD transcoding, DRM encryption, file packaging and streaming -- with selectable resource assignments for different uses. In addition, the system easily scales across multiple servers in a cluster that shares virtual resources on all physical nodes without additional management software required.

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Kontron and Vantrix Feature High Density Cloud-based 4K/UHD IP Acquisition and nPVR Solution at IBC 2014

Vantrix, a global provider of media optimization and delivery solutions to service and content providers, and Kontron, a global provider of application-ready COTS platforms for telecom, network and cloud infrastructure, will demonstrate nPVR functionality on live linear 4K feeds. The multi-faceted solution will be in the Intel Booth L20 in Hall 14 at the International Broadcast Conference (IBC) in Amsterdam September 12-16, 2014.

 
A core component of the solution is the Vantrix Media Platform (VMP), a software-defined video-processing, optimization, caching and analytics platform, available as a turnkey appliance for deployment on-premises, or in the cloud.  Built on OpenStack for virtualization, it offers a modular, pluggable, and extensible architecture for video transcoding, and optimizing media experiences via adaptive bitrate streaming, for delivery to TVs, PCs and mobile devices.
 
Using accelerated virtualized graphics running on the Kontron SYMKLOUD high density platform, leveraging the Intel Core i7 Processor, the IBC demo will feature the following end-to-end workflow:
 
·       IP Acquisition: Content ingestion via an SDI 4K live feed.  The Kontron SYMKLOUD 2RU platform together with VMP is capable of up to 72 1080p HD or 18 4K feeds.

·       Video Processing: Real-time VMP live transcoding, adaptive bit-rate packaging and AES encryption, using Intel HD graphics acceleration and AES-NI Encryption.

·       Delivery:  Adaptive bit-rate packaged streams are cached and streamed via VM, and delivered to the client. VMP Media Cache and Stream leverages 2TB Intel SSD storage modules per sled, or up to 18TB per 2RU Kontron Symkloud platform.

·       End-user nPVR: Enabling on-demand viewing of live linear feeds, cached and available for local playback.

 
VMP is installed as virtual machines and operates on the OpenStack cloud OS, enabling  flexibility and scalability. A single server can run concurrent applications – such as Live and VoD transcoding, DRM encryption, file packaging and streaming – with selectable resource assignments for different uses. In addition, the system easily scales across multiple servers in a cluster that shares virtual resources on all physical nodes without additional management software required.
 
“Vantrix’s Media Platform running together with Kontron’s 2RU Symkloud achieves industry-leading performance for nPVR solutions,” said Jean Mayrand, president of Vantrix Corporation. “The integration of our open modular, pluggable media workflow solution and our virtualized graphics processing, together with high-density cloud computing from Kontron for video processing, brings a new dimension of scalability to time-shifted UHD consumer video playback.”
 
“Cloud solutions are rapidly gaining ground as an attractive solution to complex video workloads in the global media and entertainment industry,” said Robert Courteau, EVP, Communications Business Unit, Kontron. “The economic impact of offering nPVR services for multiscreen devices is very interesting to operators. Storage can be centralized, shared and monetized, and new up-sell revenue-generating services can be rapidly added without costly and time-consuming set-top-box redeployment.”
 

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{Core Analysis}: Strategies for multiscreen monetization

{Core Analysis}: Strategies for multiscreen monetization | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Pay TV and OTT providers are increasingly difficult to tell apart. Both are engaged in a battle to capture retain our interest. Many multiscreen strategies are being enacted on both sides to secure this $400 billion market. Cord cutting, cord shaving are becoming familiar risks for MSOs as viewers’ habits change from scheduled to on demand and from linear to binge watching . MSOs are hesitating between becoming OTT, partnering with them or embracing multiscreen, while OTT are experimenting with new charging models and are trying to secure exclusive rights for original programming. These strategies and more are being analyzed in my latest white paper, co-written with Booxmedia. As large OTT providers are helping consumer-viewing habits evolve, there are great opportunities for MSOs and content providers to offer OTT and multiscreen services that will strengthen their brand, expand their reach and grow their customer base. 

 

Cloud TV everywhere emerges as one of the most successful strategies to date for customer acquisition, retention and monetization.  Robust recommendation, content discovery and ad management are keys for monetization of multiscreen.
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Netflix fails to secure Orange and Free for France

Netflix fails to secure Orange and Free for France | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

French telco Iliad Telecom/Free has joined Orange in declining to distribute Netflix when it launches in the country on September 15.


Iliad Telecom CEO Maxime Lombardini said that the pair had failed to reach an agreement on distributing the US streaming service to Free subscribers’ boxes.

Lombardini said that Netflix and Iliad had failed to come to an agreement on the economics of a deal, but did not rule out a compromise being reached in the future.

Lombardini told French press that to his knowledge Netflix had not struck an agreement with the three other leading operators.

Orange CEO Stéphane Richard confirmed at the end of July that his company would not distribute Netflix on its Livebox service, at least initially.

The news comes as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings continues his press campaign in France. In an interview with daily newspaper Le Figaro, Hastings said that Netflix could break-even in France if it secured 10% of the country’s homes. Hastings said he hoped to win over about a third of French homes in five to 10 years’ time.

Hastings reiterated that Netflix is committed to support the French production industry despite being based in Amsterdam, a move that exempts it from a formal commitment under the country’s content creation support rules.

Canal+ is meanwhile expected to make a raft of announcements related to its existing CanalPlay SVOD service on September 10. According to the Journal du Dimanche, the pay TV operator plans to introduce the ability to download films and series for viewing offline, in addition to making new content available on the platform.

Patrick Lopez's insight:

The French pay TV and telco industry enters in resistance against Netflix' invasion

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{Core Analysis}: Impact of Iliad's purchase of T-Mobile

{Core Analysis}: Impact of Iliad's purchase of T-Mobile | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Last month, I was musing about a world where wireless voice and messaging ARPU would be 0$.

While many are discovering the bid by Iliad to take over T-Mobile US, I have been following the company for nearly two years in its successful market introduction in France.

I thought it would be interesting to have a look at what has been the impact to date of Iliad on the French mobile market as a reference point.


Iliad launched a mobile service in France in January 2012 under the brand free Mobile. The offer was simple and a perfect disruption to the highly-regulated market. Building on their broadband payTV set top box offer, Iliad secured 3G and 4G licenses from the french regulator and started offering for free mobile services to their payTV customers.

The offering

Shortly thereafter, the company launched a disruptive offer: 19.99 euros per month for unlimited national (all) and international (fixed line) voice calls , unlimited text and picture messages in europe, 3GB of data in 3G and 20GB in 4G.
To accelerate their customer acquisition for the moderate users, the group launched in 2013 a no contract 2 euro per month deal for 2 hours national and international voice calls, unlimited text and picture messages in europe, and 50MB of data.

The results

This disruption was a commercial and popular success for the company but a disaster for the incumbents. 
Dominated by Orange, followed by SFR and Bouygues, the market was deeply disturbed by this introduction.

In two years, here is the impact of Iliad on the french market:

Iliad as of March 2014 counted 8.6 million subscribers representing 13% market share and generating 1.2 billion euros of revenue.Iliad in 2014 covers 50% of the french population in 4G and 75% in 3G.Iliad's network quality has been rated worse of all French operators but the company ranks first in customer satisfaction.Average turnover by mobile operators decreased by 11% in 2012 and 13% in 2013 and net income by 20%Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) has decreased by 22% Collectively, operators increased their CAPEX investments to 7.3 billion euros in 2013 (excluding licenses).Collective free cash flow has decreased by 40%
ConclusionsOf course, it would be difficult to draw a direct parallel between the successful introduction strategy of Iliad in France and what would happen if they purchased T-Mobile in the US. Nonetheless, Iliad is probably the company that has acquired the most customers in the shortest amount of time of all wireless operators globally, while focusing on what matters most: customer satisfaction. Of course a disruptive pricing strategy was the main vehicle for introduction, but ease of use, with no-contract offers, unlocked phones packaged or not with subscription were a large part of the company success as well. 
The lessons to draw here is that network operators need to prepare for a world where ARPU can drastically reduce while structural investments increase. Flexibility, elasticity but more importantly a customer centric approach will make the difference.The themes are further addressed and analysed in my latest report to be released in September: SDN / NFV in wireless networks.
Patrick Lopez's insight:
The lessons to draw here are that network operators need to prepare for a world where ARPU can drastically reduce while structural investments increase. Flexibility, elasticity but more importantly a customer centric approach will make the difference.The themes are further addressed and analysed in my latest report to be released in September: SDN / NFV in wireless networks.
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Manchester United's tablet ban brings an end to annoying iPad selfies

Manchester United's tablet ban brings an end to annoying iPad selfies | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Manchester United, one of the world’s most valuable soccer clubs, is banning the use of iPads and laptops at its stadium this season. "Large electronic devices including laptops and tablets will be added to the existing list of prohibited items for matchdays at Old Trafford," reads a statement from the club, noting that it’s "reacting to the latest security intelligence" in a similar way to UK and US airports. Any electronic device that’s larger than 150mm x 100mm will be banned, and Manchester United specifically notes this includes iPads and iPad minis.

The move is similar to an iPad ban by the New York Yankees in 2010, but the American baseball team eventually reversed its policy two years later. Smartphones and small cameras are still permitted inside Old Trafford stadium, so fans will be able to record every Wayne Rooney goal or snap a picture of new manager Louis van Gaal. The good news is that tablets won’t be obscuring the view from the stands, so no more irritating iPad selfies while you’re watching Manchester United battle with Tottenham for a Europa League spot.

 
Manchester United, one of the world’s most valuable soccer clubs, is banning the use of iPads and laptops at its stadium this season. "Large electronic devices including laptops and tablets will be...
Patrick Lopez's insight:

Will be interesting to see if this has an impact on LTE Broadcast deployment if other clubs follow suit.

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Netflix boasts subs revenue has overtaken HBO

Netflix boasts subs revenue has overtaken HBO | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has taken to Facebook to boast that the streaming service generated greater revenues than its premium cable rival in the most recent quarter.


He posted: “Minor milestone: last quarter we passed HBO in subscriber revenue ($1.146B vs $1.141B). They still kick our ass in profits and Emmys, but we are making progress.”

Striking a more conciliatory tone, the Netflix chief added: “HBO rocks, and we are honored to be in the same league. (Yes I loved Silicon Valley and yes it hit a little close to home.)”

HBO parent group Time Warner reported second quarter results this week. The HBO numbers underline Hastings point about profitability. The premium cable net posted an operating profit of US$548 million compared with US$459 million a year earlier.

Netflix filed second quarter results last month and reported a profit of US$212 million. Although considerably smaller than the HBO profit figure Netflix did register significant year-on-year growth, with profits for the same quarter a year earlier at US$85 million.

Separately, comedy series Arrested Development looks set for another season on Netflix. Last year, the streaming service resurrected the comedy series, which originally ran on the US Fox network from November 2003 to February 2006.

One of the stars of the show, Will Arnett, told a US breakfast show that he and the cast are set to make a sixth season of the show (and second for Netflix), while Ted Sarandos, the streaming service’s content boss, has said it is a matter of when not if a new season is produced.

Twentieth Century Fox Television and Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s production firm Imagine Television make the show.

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Verizon defends new network management policy as 'measured and fair' in response to FCC

Verizon defends new network management policy as 'measured and fair' in response to FCC | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) said in a letter to the FCC that its new "network optimization" policy on its LTE network is "a measured and fair step" that will ensure that heavy wireless data users "not disadvantage all others in the sharing of network resources during times of high demand." The carrier also said the practice is widely used among wireless carriers.

Verizon's letter, issued yesterday to the FCC, was penned by Kathleen Grillo, senior vice president of federal regulatory affairs at Verizon. Verizon's letter is a response to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's own letter to Verizon Wireless' CEO Dan Mead, issued last week. In that letter, Wheeler said he is "deeply troubled" by the carrier's recent decision to start slowing down the speeds of some customers who still have legacy unlimited data plans and who cross into the top 5 percent of heavy data users on Verizon's LTE network when they are on high-traffic cell sites.

In the letter, Verizon's Grillo wrote that the carrier's new network management policy is not a move to score more money. Instead, she wrote, "the type of network optimization policy that we follow has been endorsed by the FCC as a narrowly targeted way to ensure a fair allocation of capacity during times of congestion."

  

"In short this practice has been widely accepted with little or no controversy," she added, noting that some customers were using a "disproportionate amount of network resources and have an out-sized effect on the network. Not surprisingly, many of these heaviest users of the network are on unlimited data plans."

"Unlike subscribers on usage-based plans, they have no incentive not to do so during times of unusually high demand," Grillo wrote.

The FCC declined to comment on Verizon's response, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"We absolutely know that it was the right thing to do and we know that it was in line with the FCC's principles," Mead said yesterday in a meeting with reporters on the topic, according to Reuters.

"I don't think the FCC really understood what we were doing," Mead added, according to Re/code. Mead said that the carrier's new network management policy would result in slower speeds for "a tiny minority" of users who connect to high-traffic cell sites.

Wheeler sparked the debate last week with a sharp letter to Mead questioning the carrier's network management policy. Under Verizon's policy, the carrier said it may slow the speeds of its top 5 percent of LTE data users who are on unlimited data plans if they attempt to conduct data transmissions on high-traffic cell sites. Verizon said its policy would apply to customers on unlimited data plans who use roughly 4.7 GB of data on a device during a billing cycle. 

"'Reasonable network management' concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams," Wheeler wrote in his letter to Mead. "It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its 'network management' on distinctions among its customers' data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology."

It's unclear what Wheeler's next steps might be. Although he has previously lobbied for the cable and wireless industries, Wheeler in his new position as chairman of the FCC has worked to project an image of promoting competition and fairness in the industry.

Patrick Lopez's insight:

Traffic management and video optimization come to the public stage in the US.

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Netflix cuts AT&T deal

Netflix cuts AT&T deal | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Netflix has agreed an interconnection deal with AT&T designed to reduce buffering problems for its US customers watching via AT&T’s broadband services.

Streaming player Netflix has been involved in a bitter war of words with Verizon over buffering issues with both parties blaming the other.

Netflix has, however, struck a connection deal with Verizon as well as Comcast to provide a direct connection from broadband provider to viewer.

It has now struck a similar deal with AT&T. Deal terms were not disclosed, but earlier this year AT&T rejected a Netflix proposal for free interconnection. The agreement was reportedly made in May and will take effect in coming days, alleviating buffering.

US communications regulator the FCC is currently investigating who is at fault for the problems occurring with streaming Netflix content via some broadband operators.

Patrick Lopez's insight:

As I explained at NAB, after all the noise, cooler heads will prevail. This is a business, not a cause.

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YouTube makes content creator investment pledge

YouTube makes content creator investment pledge | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

YouTube has announced plans to fund videos from some of its “top creators” in its latest effort to help support premium content on the site. 

In a blog post, YouTube said “we feel the time is right to make another important investment in our creators” having initially invested in 100 original US channels in 2011 – a scheme it later introduced in Europe.

YouTube said in the post that 86 of those channels are now “among the top 1% of YouTube’s most popular,” but claimed that “the real sign of success was the massive global fan base our creators built.”

“As any creator will tell you, making compelling new content isn’t easy, and we expect to learn a lot through this process. We’ll experiment with new formats and ideas. We’ll get our hands dirty. We’ll make some mistakes. Together, we’ll (hopefully) create some fantastic new content on YouTube. But one thing is certain: there’s no one we’d rather go on this adventure with than our creators,” said head of YouTube originals, Alex Carloss.

Though YouTube did not reveal the level of funding, or the specific content creators it would support, as part of its new investment drive, it said that the move followed other steps to help its video-makers like the establishment of its YouTube Spaces studios in LA, Tokyo, London and soon New York.

“This year, we’ve expanded our support to full-scale marketing and advertising campaigns, helping turn successful creators with large fan bases like Bethany Mota and Epic Rap Battles of History into household names, broadening their appeal to new audiences. These campaigns started in the US but we’re now extending them to places like the UK, France, Germany and Brazil to ensure that creators around the world can continue to serve as beacons for the creator community at large,” said Carloss.

News of the new YouTube funding comes just weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook had approached some of YouTube’s biggest content producers, encouraging them to test distributing their videos directly through the social network.

Patrick Lopez's insight:

As seen in my video monetization report and my latest white paper on OTT strategies, securing original content is key to video monetization.

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Google is a TV “partner, not a predator”, says European chief

Google is a TV “partner, not a predator”, says European chief | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Google and other technology providers are “partners and not predators” for the broadcast industry, according to Matt Brittan, president of Google Europe. Speaking at the IBC conference in Amsterdam this morning, Brittin said technology platforms including Chromecast, Android TV and YouTube could help the broadcast industry and enable users to find the content they want.

“We have platforms that are built for everyone,” he said. “We can be a partner no matter where you are coming from in this industry.”

Brittin said Google had learned a lot of lessons from Google TV. “When we started off we didn’t know about the multiscreen experience. Android TV is built on the most popular operating system globally. Users are familiar with it and can bring their apps to the TV,” he said.

He said Android has become “extremely popular” and there is a chance to have fewer OS, which Android for TV could contribute to. He said Android on TV should drive innovation on TV and confirmed that the platform will be free, on the same model as for mobile. “We want to make it easy for a whole ecosystem of players to participate,” he said. Discussions are ongoing, he said. Sony and other manufacturers are developing TVs with Android at its heart and consumers would vote with their wallets, he said.

Brittin said Android TV is much “broader” than Chromecast. He said that Chromecast use is increasing among those who have it.

Brittin said gaming was a very interesting field. He highlighted the example of King.com that is looking to develop apps that can scale globally. He said Google is not in the business of commissioning content but wants to encourage businesses to come to YouTube. “We’ve really tried to listen to the industry and to content creators and understand their concerns and we built content ID [on YouTube],” he said. However, he highlighted that most content owners who discover content uploaded to YouTube leave it up because of the power of the fanbase to drive demand.

He said more people were beginning to make money on YouTube. Pay options are coming, but in a way that is relevant to the audience, he said. However, he said that Google had not got into the business of formally commissioning content, even if it had given advances to YouTube content creators against future advertising revenue to stimulate content creation for the platform.

Google experimented with new advertising formats such as the skippable ad, which encouraged creators to develop more compelling content and also provided feedback about what types of viewers watched particular ads and enabled Google to serve ads better tailored to their tastes.

“Big brands have spent 50 years figuring out how to make TV work for them,” he said, adding that Google is trying through its technology stack and things like M-Dialogue to enable new models and standards for advertising on other screens.

Brittin said he didn’t believe that ‘click to buy’ would be big on YouTube, but he believed other models such as direct partnerships between brands and content providers would become more common.

Brittin said Google is looking at how to solve the “multiscreen challenge” of enabling devices to talk to each other, with user expectations being driven by their experience of smartphones. He compared the TV experience currently to the experience people had of mobile phones eight years ago. Audiences are increasingly looking to interact socially, enabling content providers to gain an opportunity to understand their audiences better, he said.

Brittin said Android TV was about bringing a better user experience to TV, delivering all the apps available on mobile in a TV-friendly way. “It should be simple to take an app you’ve built for Android on phone or tablet and make it available on TV. This is something that is very important for us,” he said.

He said Chromecast is about “making multiscreen magical” by enabling any device to recognise that you have a Chromecast device and put whatever you are watching on your other devices on the TV, delivered or ‘casted’ from the cloud and freeing up the personal device that the viewer is using for other purposes.

Brittin said that fans of major live shows want to go beyond linear timeslots to enteract and comment in a deeper way with the content they like. He highlighted examples of YouTube networks such as Awesomeness TV and Maker Studios, which are now being acquired by major content companies. “It is not the same economics as primetime TV but it is [making an impact],” he said. He said YouTube uploads from amateur content providers also extended the life of TV shows.

Brittan said the world is still at an early stage in the overarching technology trends being driven by connectivity. Only two billion people are currently web-connected, he said. “A huge change happens when people get connected for the first time. All of them are going to be connected through mobile devices which is a huge change.”.

Brittan said change is currently happening at a relatively slow pace. The pace of innovation will increase as more people become connected to high-speed networks and deliver scale, he said. Consumers are now more demanding in terms of control and choice thanks to connectivity, he added.

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Netflix buys French content, orders original doc

Netflix buys French content, orders original doc | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Ahead of its French launch next week, Netflix has acquired a raft of content from domestic producers and distributors, allaying fears in France that it will not support the French content business.

The streaming service has acquired a 100-hour package of content from Paris-based distributor Prime Entertainment, which will be available on Netflix’s imminent French service.

The Prime deal is for a raft of factual titles across the science, human interest, social and crime genres. DTVE’s sister title TBI has learned that these include one-offs Big Bang, My Ancestors and Me, Olivier de Kersauzon: 2000 Leagues Under the Sea, Will you Live Past 100? and The Gang from Lyon.

Doc series covered in the deal include 10x52mins The 10 Commandments and 8x26mins Cycling at the World’s End.

The Prime-Netflix deal was sealed at the Rendez Vouse, the French distributors’ content market, which has been taking place this week in Biarritz. The deal gives Netflix the docs for its upcoming French service.

Meanwhile, on the kids front, Netflix has acquired French-originated animated series Wakfu. The streaming service hastaken rights to the fantasy adventure toons across its entire footprint, meaning it will be available to over 50 million subscribers.

The series is produced by indie Ankama out of its studio in northern France. Wakfu launches on Netflix in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Netherlands and Nordics on next week, Latin America in the autumn and on its upcoming services as they roll out.

“Animation has a very strong history in France and French animators are among the best and most innovative in the world,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “We are thrilled to be working with Ankama to bring its engaging title to millions of Netflix members and expect to further strengthen our relationship with Ankama and other French animation studios.”

On the factual front, Netflix has ordered Chef’s Table, a six-part doc series following six international chefs from David Gelb, the filmmaker who made Jiro Dreams of Sushi. WME negotiated the doc deal.

Patrick Lopez's insight:

As OTT TV matures and enters the European market, localized content becomes key to differentiation.

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Kaltura launches end-to-end OTT TV solution

Video technology company Kaltura has launched an end-to-end pay OTT TV solution, which it will demo at IBC. 

Kaltura OTT TV is the result of the firm integrating its video platform with pay OTT technology from its May acquisition of Tvinci.

The new solution includes: multi-screen, multi-device support; tools designed to improve user acquisition and retention; and monetisation, social and personalisation features.

The monetisation tools support server-side and native ad insertion technology for live and VOD content, in-app purchases, and different payment options and discounts for introducing friends.

The social features let user log in to their TV service using Facebook to engage with friends and receive recommendations. An activity feed on the home page and buzz meter also highlights what is popular.

Personalisation options include letting each viewer set up an individual profile, giving service providers a better understanding of user behaviour. Users will also be able to interact between screens with TV control and ‘content swooshing’ from one device to the other.

“Tvinci built a solid reputation for delivering advanced pay OTT TV solutions. Since the acquisition in May, the combined Kaltura/Tvinci teams have focused on developing a solution with the most advanced set of proven capabilities in the market, including personalisation and social features that are critical to convert end users into paying subscribers,” said Ron Yekutiel, chairman and CEO, Kaltura.

“Now, with Kaltura OTT TV, service providers can finally move away from siloed applications towards a holistic multi-screen offering. This is the OTT of the future OTT 3 – covering any business model, any experience, on any device.”

Customers already signed up to use Kaltura OTT TV include Mediacorp in Singapore and yes in Israel, which will use the solution for their respective OTT services – Toggle and yesGO

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Roku targets pay TV operators with ‘powered’ programme

Roku targets pay TV operators with ‘powered’ programme | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Web streaming device maker Roku is looking to expand its international reach with the launch of its Roku Powered programme – aimed at pay TV service providers outside the US.

The scheme will see Roku license the technology that powers its streaming platform, letting pay TV operators customise and integrate this into its own offerings in order to offer web-delivered content.

The Roku Powered programme will give partners access to low-cost hardware, software and on-going software upgrades, a user interface, and a selection of streaming content, said Roku.

Pay TV partners can also apply their own branding to the user experience, customise user interface themes, build in promotions and control the streaming content that is available on the platform.

“There has been incredible demand from pay TV providers for a simple way to address the increasing consumer interest in internet-delivered entertainment,” said Roku’s general manager of content and services, Steve Shannon.

“Our world-class software, cost-effective hardware design, and broad content selection make Roku the ideal strategic partner for pay TV providers to work with to transform their user experience and set the stage for success in this fast-changing world of internet-delivered video.”

The move comes after Roku partnered with BSkyB to develop the Roku-powered Now TV box, which Sky launched for customers of its Now TV OTT offering in July 2013. This was the first time that Roku licensed its streaming platform.

Last month, Roku also announced the launch of two new lines of smart TV from electronics manufacturers Hisense and TCL with Roku’s operating system built in.

Patrick Lopez's insight:

Roku blurs the lines and provides Roku-powered set top boxes and smart TVs.

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Streaming closing in on linear viewing, says Ericsson

Streaming closing in on linear viewing, says Ericsson | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Streaming habits are “closing in on linear TV” consumption, with the proportion of streamed video consumption now almost on a par with scheduled broadcast TV, according to a new global study by Ericsson.

The 2014 ConsumerLab report on TV and media trends found that 75% of consumers watched streamed video – including YouTube clips, TV shows and movies – a more than weekly basis, up substantially from 61% in 2011.

By comparison, 77% of consumers watched scheduled broadcast TV on a more than weekly basis in 2014, down from 83% in 2011.

Discussing the findings, Niklas Heyman Rönnblom, a senior advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab, said that he does not believe that scheduled broadcast will “go away”

“When we talk scheduled broadcast TV here, we have to divide it into two different points of content – live TV and non-live TV. When we see this decrease in linear scheduled TV, I would argue that it’s non-live TV, like TV series, movies and so-on that are migrating to new ways of watching TV.”

At the same time, Ericsson found that there was also a major decline in the consumption of recorded broadcast TV on devices like DVRs. The proportion of consumers doing this dropped from 47% in 2011 to 28% in 2014.

Similarly DVD and Blu-ray viewing dropped from 31% to 25% of viewers over the same time period.

“The main reason for that is convenience. A lot of consumers are shifting those habits to new ways of watching TV and video, like streaming, because you don’t have to plan ahead, you don’t have to record and you can access your content through any device – not only the one that’s connected to your DVR,” said Rönnblom.

He added: “By the end of 2020 we will see that consumers consume as much on-demand content as they do linear content.”

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Mobile video volume on LTE already 5x greater than 3G

Mobile video volume on LTE already 5x greater than 3G | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

A report by analytics vendor Citrix has revealed the extent of LTE-based video streaming growth. The report focuses on the consumption of LTE-based services among global tier 1 operators; and concludes LTE is already generating five times greater data volume than 3G at operators that offer both.

On average, mobile subscribers on LTE networks are 50% more likely to watch video on the move than 3G subscribers; whilst a longer average viewing time is also observed. Due to increased mobile broadband availability, high definition video files are being consumed by users; and a move away from tradition mp4 files is on the cards.

“New mobile video formats are delivering higher quality videos to subscribers. Specifically, we are seeing HLS and Smooth Streaming mobile video formats growing in popularity, reducing MP4 format video format from 74% last year to 56% of mobile video traffic volumes this year”, said Anna Yong, senior product marketing manager at Citrix.

iOS device subscribers generate proportionally more video data volume than subscribers on Android platforms, the survey reports; 38% and 27.5% respectively.

There are concerns amongst the wider telecoms community, however, that an increasing trend in mobile video consumption could put a strain on network infrastructure, when considering limited bandwidth availability.

UK operator Three, which operates all-you-can-eat data plans on both 4G and 3G networks, told Telecoms.com: “All-you-can-eat data is part of the mix and something that some of our customers really value. Like any network at peak times in busy areas, we need to manage the network experience for all. Behaviour on 4G is not markedly different from our advanced 3G network, but the extra capacity is delivering those using 4G a better experience.”

LTE helps ease the load on existing infrastructure, and reduce capacity concerns for telcos, according to a report from Ovum Research. “The majority of operators launching LTE are doing so to be first to market, to illustrate technology leadership, or for competitive differentiation, rather than to directly combat capacity constraints. However, the spectral-efficiency enhancement that LTE offers will benefit operators that either obtain new spectrum assets or refarm existing spectrum for LTE,” concluded the report.

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Sprint kills unlimited data for life guarantee for new customers

Sprint kills unlimited data for life guarantee for new customers | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Sprint (NYSE: S) is discontinuing its offer of guaranteed unlimited voice, texting and data for the life of the phone line for new customers, and is limiting the options for customers who have the guarantee now. The carrier disclosed the change in conjunction with its announcement of a new unlimited talk, text and data plan for individuals that costs $60 per month.

Sprint instituted the guarantee in July 2013 shortly after SoftBank finalized its deal to buy 80 percent of Sprint. The Unlimited Guarantee was given to new customers who signed up for service as well as existing customers who switched to Sprint's Unlimited, My Way or My All-in plans.

Unlimited, My Way plans offered unlimited voice, texting and data on the Sprint network for $80 per month, and the My All-in plan offered unlimited voice, texting and data plus 5 GB of mobile hotspot usage for $110. Both of those plans came with the Unlimited Guarantee--but the new $60 unlimited plan does not.

  

"The Unlimited Guarantee was a limited time promotion and will no longer be available for new customers," Sprint spokeswoman Adrienne Norton told FierceWireless. "Existing customers who have that benefit on their account will retain it as long as eligibility requirements are met."

Norton said customers who signed up with the Unlimited Guarantee will still have access to unlimited voice, texting and data while on the Sprint network--as long as they stay on a rate plan that includes the Unlimited Guarantee and the account remains in good standing. 

"The new [$60 unlimited] plan will not have the guarantee on it; so, to keep the guarantee, customers will have to remain on Unlimited, My Way or My All-In," she said.

The Unlimited Guarantee fit with Sprint's longtime mantra of offering unlimited service to customers and was a way to reward loyalty and decrease churn. The fact that new customers can no longer get the guarantee and existing customers will not be able to get the new, lower pricing if they want to keep the lifetime guarantee could undercut Sprint's efforts to attract and retain subscribers.

Sprint's new $60 plan undercuts T-Mobile US' (NYSE:TMUS) $80 unlimited data plan by $20 and is available to existing Sprint customers as well as new customers. Sprint's $60 price does not include the cost of a phone; customers can either purchase a new phone through Sprint's Easy Pay handset upgrade program and pay for it in monthly installments, or they can bring their own phone, or they can purchase their phone at full price.

Earlier this week Sprint announced new shared data plans for families that essentially offer double the data that Sprint's rivals offer. David Owens, Owens, Sprint's senior vice president of product development, told FierceWireless the carrier did so because it thinks its network can support large amounts of data usage and wants to provide value to customers. However, the removal of the unlimited for life guarantee for individuals seems to either undercut that or could be designed to push customers to the new family plans.

Patrick Lopez's insight:

Unlimited data plans are never viable long term. They are good for short term customer acquisition, bad for ARPU

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Citrix ByteMobile tests mobile traffic optimisation in Brazil

Citrix ByteMobile tests mobile traffic optimisation in Brazil | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Citrix ByteMobile has been conducting tests with Brazilian operators of its platform for the optimisation of mobile traffic, which is already used by 130 operators worldwide, reports Teletime. In Latin America, its presence is still small, with only a contract with a Puerto Rican operator. Now the company wants to expand in the region and is setting its sights on the Brazilian market, where migration to smartphones is advancing rapidly, generating greater demand for the optimisation of data traffic, especially video compression. The company recently completed its first test with a Brazilian operator and will shortly initiate another two. It expects to close its first contract next year.

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Telstra to Acquire Ooyala to Build Leading Personalized Cloud-Based TV and Video Platform Company

Telstra to Acquire Ooyala to Build Leading Personalized Cloud-Based TV and Video Platform Company | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Telstra to Acquire Ooyala to Build Leading Personalized Cloud-Based TV and Video Platform Company

 

Telstra's Investment Enables Ooyala to Accelerate Growth and Extend Market Lead as Highly Capitalized, Independently Operated Business

 

 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA and MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 11, 2014) - Telstra, one of the largest telecommunications and information services companies in the world, and Ooyala, a leader in video streaming and analytics, today announced they have reached a definitive agreement for Telstra to acquire Ooyala. The US$270 million investment increases Telstra's ownership in Ooyala from 23 per cent (fully diluted) to 98 per cent and is in addition to the US$61 million previously invested in Ooyala over the past two years. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed in the next 60 days.

Ooyala will become a subsidiary of Telstra, and will operate as an independent business under the leadership of its existing management team led by chief executive officer Jay Fulcher. The company will retain the Ooyala brand and will continue to be headquartered in Silicon Valley.

The investment makes Ooyala one of the best-capitalized and most comprehensive video and analytics technology companies in the world. It is the culmination of a successful, long standing investment and business relationship between Ooyala and Telstra. As one of the world's largest telecommunications companies, with deep expertise in the digital media space, Telstra can provide the necessary and ongoing investments and business relationships to build on Ooyala's leadership in personalized video.

"With this investment, Ooyala is poised to extend our leadership in the rapidly expanding market for personalized cloud TV and video technology. With today's news, we combine the backing of one of the strongest telecommunications companies in the world with the intensity and agility of an independent Silicon Valley company. This combination accelerates our growth and pace of innovation, while we remain laser-focused on helping media companies everywhere win in an industry undergoing massive transformation," Fulcher said.

This is the first investment for Global Applications and Platforms (GAP). GAP's strategy is to create long-term global growth in markets that are adjacent to Telstra's core business, where software disrupts traditional business models.

Telstra Chief Executive Officer, Mr. David Thodey said, this provides an opportunity for Telstra and Ooyala to establish a consolidated leading global company to deliver platforms and services on which the next generation of TV and video will be built.

"Telstra's global customer relationships, our established presence in Asia and proven integration capabilities, combined with our expertise in online video and investment in Foxtel provide us a unique opportunity to succeed in this growth market," Mr. Thodey said.

Having already established the most robust set of end-to-end video technologies and services in the global marketplace, with tier-one customers including ESPN, Foxtel and Univision, Ooyala can now more rapidly scale its operations worldwide to seize the multi-billion dollar opportunity for cloud-based video solutions that enable personalized multi-screen television for mass audiences.

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{Core Analysis}: SDN - NFV in wireless networks

{Core Analysis}: SDN - NFV in wireless networks | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Until October 2014, exclusive discounts for early orders on my Kickstarter project page.

Software Defined Networks and Network Functions Virtualization are emerging technologies that are poised to have a transformational effect on IT in general and wireless networks in particular.While the technology promises to reduce physical complexity and associated costs of introducing and managing wireless services, the abstraction of elements into resources adds a new level of operational complexity.This report maps the state of SDN / NFV deployments in wireless networks in 2014, through primary research and interview of all participants in ETSI NFV Proof of Concept (PoC). The first part of the report examines the market conditions, trends and benefits of introducing the technology in wireless networks. The second part evaluates the maturity of the technology, which elements of the wireless networks are more likely to be virtualized and the deployments strategies associated.The third part of the report looks at every ETSI NFV PoC announced to chart the industry level of maturity and collaboration.The last part of the report provides a useful catalogue of companies active in the field, their product offering and strategy.In complement to the report, a database with the following fields include:PoC Name, number, Participant company, category (operator, vendor), contact first, last name and email address, participant's role (requirements, infrastructure, architect, integration...), Contribution (orchestration, VNF, management...) and PoC location.
At last, workshops, training and strategy sessions are available to look at the dynamic and roadmap of NFV in wireless networks.
This report is unique in the sense that I am the only analyst with ETSI membership who has interviewed all participants in their PoCs. It is a 360 view of the SDN NFV opportunity in mobile networks. The associated database is a useful tool for those who want a who's who of wireless NFV and the workshop allows interactive Q&A and go-to market strategy evaluation.

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This is a new venture. I am trying to use kickstarter to finance my next upcoming report on the state of SDN and NFV in wireless networks. Visit my project at http://bit.ly/sdnnfvwireless

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VimpelCom makes mobile viewing more reliable

VimpelCom makes mobile viewing more reliable | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Russian service provider VimpelCom, which operates under the Beeline brand, has introduced adaptive streaming or Smooth Dynamic Bit-Rate Adaptation (SDBRA) on its mobile network, enabling it to increase the number of successful video views at peak times by 10%, according to the operator.

VimpelCom says it has introduced SDBRA in the cities of Nizhny Novgorod, Cheboksary, Yoshkar-Ola, Kazan, Saratov, Ulyanovsk, Penza, Saransk, Ulan-Ude, Irkutsk, Chita, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Blagoveshchensk and Khabarovsk, and will extend it to all parts of Russia by the end of this year.

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