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Chromecast hits one billion milestone, YouTube viewing time up 50%

Chromecast hits one billion milestone, YouTube viewing time up 50% | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Users of Google’s Chromecast streaming device have now ‘cast’ content more than 1 billion times, while viewing time on YouTube is up 50% year-on-year, according to Google.

Speaking on the firm’s fourth quarter results call, Omid Kordestani, Google’s chief business officer and special advisor to the CEO, said that Chromecast usage per device has increased by 60% since launch due to a “growing roster of new apps and features” and that “just last week, we saw our 1 billionth tap of the cast button.”

Turning his attention to YouTube, Kordestani said that the Google-owned video site now has more than 1 billion users and that every day people watch “hundreds of millions of hours of video” on YouTube, generating “billions of views.”

“Watch time is up 50% year-over-year. We continue to invest in our YouTube Partners and Partner revenue has increased by more than 50% year-over-year,” said Kordestani.

Without breaking down the figure, he said that that mobile revenue on YouTube is up more than 100% year-over-year and claimed that YouView’s TrueView ad format, where advertisers only pay if someone watches their ad, “continues to do very well.”

“Our digital content businesses are strong. I’m excited about Google Play’s development. Movies are now available in more than the 102 countries, music in 58, and books in 65. It’s growing internationally at unprecedented speed,” said Kordestani.

He added that Google Play and YouTube “drove the majority” of the US$15 million sales that controversial Sony Pictures Entertainment movie The Interview generated in its opening weekend, after the studio opted for an online-only release after falling victim to a large-scale corporate hack.

Overall, Google reported consolidated revenues of US$18.10 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2014, an increase of 15% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. GAAP operating income in the fourth quarter of 2014 was $4.40 billion, or 24% of revenues. This compares to GAAP operating income of $4.43 billion, or 28% of revenues, in the fourth quarter of 2013.
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Streaming media player ownership to hit 40% in US

Streaming media player ownership to hit 40% in US | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Streaming media player penetration is set to reach 40% of US broadband homes by 2017, with these devices to be found in some 39 million households, according to research by NPD Group. 

The research firm predicts that streaming media player ownership will grow from just 16% of US internet homes in the first quarter of 2014, to 24% in Q1 2015, thanks in part to recent holiday purchases.

“In its infancy, the streaming media player market was driven by growth from Apple and Roku, but over the past year and a half Amazon and Google have made a significant impact,” according to NPD.

By including streaming media players alongside other web connected platforms – such as TVs, video game consoles and Blu-ray players – NPD predicts that the total number devices delivering apps to TVs will reach 211 million by Q1 2017.

However, among these device platforms, streaming media players are forecast to contribute the most growth.

The research also found that the top five video apps used on TVs by streaming media player owners are Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime and Instant Video, Hulu Plus and HBO Go.

“The rapidly growing streaming media player market, coupled with rising ownership of smart TVs and the new generation of game consoles is resulting in significantly more homes getting access to apps such as Amazon Prime Instant Video and HBO Go,” said John Buffone, NPD’s executive director, connected intelligence.

“Over the coming years we will continue to see a growing audience of TV viewers for streaming video services, authenticated network apps, and offerings such as CBS All Access that no longer require a pay TV subscription from a cable or satellite provider.”
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Allot Communications Secures Video Optimization Orders from Three New Major Mobile Operators

Allot Communications Ltd. (NASDAQ, TASE: ALLT), a leading global provider of intelligent broadband solutions that empower communication service providers to optimize and monetize their networks, enterprises to enhance productivity and consumers to improve their digital experience, announced today that it received orders from three new mobile operator customers in the fourth quarter of 2014 for Allot VideoClass, an application-aware and network-aware video optimization system that fully integrates with Allot Service Gateway to dramatically improve the quality and efficiency of video delivery.

One of EMEA's leading Tier-1 mobile service providers is implementing the Allot VideoClass system to prevent video buffering delays, stalls and latency, and expedite web browsing to enhance the overall customer quality of experience (QoE). This implementation followed a competitive win against pure-play optimization vendors. The video QoE management solution also provides the operator with the network intelligence to achieve granular policy control to match the optimization policy to a customer profile and data plan.  

A second order was received from a major multinational mobile operator based in LATAM that selected the Allot VideoClass system to eliminate network congestion and enhance video delivery. This order followed a competitive and extended trial process. The operator will be better able to identify and allocate bandwidth to each video application to ensure a high QoE while, at the same time, lowering operational expenses.

Allot received an additional Allot VideoClass system order from a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Europe. This operator also utilizes Allot's web optimization capabilities to accelerate web browsing responsiveness and further reduce delivery costs. The solution enables this operator to realize significant savings by dramatically reducing optimizable video bandwidth by up to 40% and overall bandwidth savings of up to 20%, while maintaining a high customer QoE. This operator is also taking advantage of network analytics capabilities to gain insights into mobile traffic, which enables the provider to develop application and subscriber-based charging models.

"As multimedia consumption on smartphones, tablets and connected devices becomes more prevalent, mobile operators require powerful QoE management solutions to better monetize dynamic video and web bandwidth demands and to gain control of their networks," said Yaniv Sulkes, AVP Marketing at Allot Communications. "Allot's application and network-aware VideoClass system helps to lower operators' operational expenses and generate new revenue opportunities through tailored charging models, all while enhancing the user experience and increasing overall customer loyalty. These three new customer wins demonstrate our continued market momentum with major operators seeking optimization solutions for their video delivery challenges."

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BBC reports record-breaking 2014 for iPlayer

BBC reports record-breaking 2014 for iPlayer | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
The BBC reported a record-breaking 3.5 billion TV and radio programme requests on the iPlayer in 2014, with mobile and tablet traffic driving much of the growth. 

Traffic to the online catch-up service broke down to 2.6 billion TV requests and more than 860 million radio requests across all devices, according to official BBC stats, with the 3.5 billion total up from 3.1 billion in 2013.

Traffic from tablets was up 51% year-on-year at 801 million requests, while mobile views climbed by 32% to 662 million requests. The BBC also reported a 13% year-on-year increase in requests from connected TVs at 626 million.

On mobile, drama Murdered By My Boyfriend on youth network BBC Three topped the chart for 2014, with 1.1m requests on mobile devices alone. The most popular shows on tablets were Sherlock, Top Gear and comedy Outnumbered. BBC thriller The Missing topped the list of most-watched programmes on connected TVs with 1.22 million requests, followed closely by Happy Valley with 1.16 million requests.

Overall for the year, the most watched show on the iPlayer was the first episode of the latest series of Sherlock with 4.19 million requests in total. The rest of the top five was made up of three episodes of Top Gear and another episode of Sherlock.

Elsewhere, the BBC reported strong numbers for its iPlayer originals content, with its Original Comedy Shorts attracting 1.9 million requests and Original Drama shorts 1.2m requests.

Ralph Rivera, director of BBC Future Media said: “2014 was a great year for iPlayer – with a record-breaking 3.5 billion programme requests, a brand-new version of iPlayer launched and the extension of the catch-up window from seven to 30 days. We’re looking forward to bringing fans even more in 2015.”
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Twitter continuing to explore TV revenue opportunities

Twitter continuing to explore TV revenue opportunities | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Tweets about TV shows can drive ratings, but ratings also drive Tweets, producing a cyclical relationship that the microblogging network is still exploring, according to Twitter research executive Anjali Midha. 

In a video interview on Bloomberg, Twitter’s global media and agency research director said that there was “absolutely” the potential for different revenue streams in relation to Twitter predicting TV trends.

“We do actually offer many different types of targeting and many different types of advertising, and some of those flavours are very well aligned to what we hope to do with our media partners, so that’s definitely something we’re really eager to further explore,” said Midha.

Discussing Twitter’s TV measurement partnership with Nielsen, Midha said that research from late last year shows that having talent like celebrities, producers and writers Tweet as a show is airing “helps a tremendous amount in terms of driving engagement, as do simple things like putting hashtags on the big screen.”

She added that the rise of on-demand viewing and the knock-on effect that has on live interaction is something “that we are actually thinking about pretty actively at Twitter, as well as in collaboration with our media partners, to figure out how we can really bring the best experience to our community.”

“We know that there’s a very cyclical relationship in that Tweets and seen Tweets can actually drive ratings, but ratings also drive Tweets. So we know that there’s a little bit of both happening. We’re obviously really excited to keep studying that phenomenon,” said Midha.

In research released by Nielsen last year, the information and measurement firm said that TV networks are in some instances now are seeing more than 50% of their 18 to 34 year-old viewership tuning in during the seven-day window after the live airing of shows.

Nielsen and Twitter teamed up last year, launching a new service in May to measure Twitter TV demographics across 250 US channels.
Patrick Lopez's insight:

Twitter might help unlocking the mobile video advertisement jigsaw.

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Unlike Verizon, AT&T takes its LTE Broadcast trial inside stadium

Unlike Verizon, AT&T takes its LTE Broadcast trial inside stadium | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
AT&T (NYSE: T) is going to conduct a live, in-stadium trial demonstration of AT&T LTE Broadcast technology. And, unlike the demonstration rival Verizon (NYSE: VZ) conducted outside the MetLife Stadium for the Super Bowl in 2014, AT&T plans to conduct this trial inside AT&T Stadium when the Ohio State Buckeyes meet the Oregon Ducks for the first-ever college football national championship in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 12.

In a blog post, AT&T's senior EVP of technology and network operations, John Donovan, said AT&T is exploring LTE Broadcast for the delivery of content directly to all users with compatible devices within a designated timeframe and area. AT&T Chief Strategy Officer John Stankey disclosed last summer that the operator planned to start rolling out the capabilities this year.

The technology could be used to distribute a range of content, including music, video and software to specific areas within AT&T's LTE footprint, such as a single sports stadium. AT&T has been particularly aggressive in rolling out technologies such as distributed antenna systems (DAS) and Wi-Fi to make sure venues like sports stadiums are covered, including AT&T Stadium.


"In simple terms, LTE Broadcast works by allocating a portion of wireless network resources to host specific content streams that any compatible device can access simultaneously," Donovan said via the blog. "Delivering the same content stream to multiple users, rather than delivering each user their own individual content stream, optimizes network resources."

Optimizing network resources may be more important than ever as operators try to meet consumers' seemingly insatiable demand for data. And if they can deliver specialized content, like the rebroadcast of a play to fans inside the stadium, that would seem to be an even bigger incentive for carriers to roll out the technology--if they can make money from it.

"Think of it this way: many customers attending a football game accessing venue-specific content (like live footage from a player's helmet cam) could experience lags because everyone else is trying to get that same content, at the same time, through individual data streams on their individual devices," Donovan explained. "LTE Broadcast would make available one single data stream for the helmet cam footage, available to all compatible devices in the stadium which could minimize network congestion. This trial demonstration signifies the early stages of our foray into LTE Broadcast, but we see a promising future with this technology."

Some other LTE Broadcast use cases include delivering software updates to connected cars and other devices, as well as new one-to-many commercial services for businesses. Universities could stream lectures from visiting faculty to students unable to attend, for example.

An AT&T representative told FierceWirelessTech that the operator isn't currently disclosing which vendors will be participating in the Monday demonstration.

Verizon last year named some of its LTE Multicast technology vendors, including Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Samsung, Sequans and MobiTV. In May, the operator conducted the first live test broadcast of an IndyCar Series race, incorporating video of the race as well as in-car footage and footage from cameras installed around the track.

According to a Verizon spokeswoman contacted by FierceWirelessTech, Verizon's 2015 commercial launch plan remains in place. No further details were available.

At this past Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015, Visteon debuted a connected vehicle equipped with Verizon's LTE Multicast technology, showing off how the vehicle hub communicated with an embedded automotive telematics module designed to receive firmware over the air (FOTA) updates using LTE Multicast.

Visteon says the Visteon Connected Vehicle Hub and LTE Multicast from Verizon will allow automakers to simultaneously transmit FOTA updates to vehicles in an entire fleet, manufacturing plant or region. Visteon and Verizon worked in a number of locations across the country to co-develop an end-to-end solution.

Previously, Verizon executives have touted the potential benefits of LTE Multicast. During the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Verizon Communications Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam famously discussed his desire to use LTE Multicast to deliver video services to Verizon's customers during 2014's Super Bowl, although that didn't happen. The operator did, however, conduct demos leading up to the big game.
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Facebook Acquires Video Compression Startup QuickFire

Facebook Acquires Video Compression Startup QuickFire | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Facebook said Thursday it has acquired video-compression company QuickFire Networks, further underscoring the social networking giant’s increasing focus on video.

Quickfire, based in San Diego, says it can quickly convert video formats and allow them to be downloaded with less bandwidth and without a loss in video quality. “QuickFire Networks will provide you with the weapons necessary to meet the onslaught of the video revolution,” the company says on its website.

Facebook has been making a push to get its users to upload video directly to its site, instead of linking to videos on other sites like Youtube. Hosting the videos keeps Facebook users on the service and gives the company more control over how the videos can be viewed and placed around advertising. Quickfire’s technology could help speed up that process.

Last year, Facebook changed its service so that videos in its users’ news feeds begin playing automatically. Facebook has stressed how important it is to get those videos to play as quickly as possible, especially on mobile phones.

“Now we’re ready to take the next step in our growth,” wrote QuickFire Chief Executive officer Craig Lee on the company’s web site. “Facebook has more than one billion video views on average every day and we’re thrilled to help deliver high quality video experiences to all the people who consume video on Facebook.”

A Facebook spokeswoman would not disclose the terms of the deal.

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Bell undercuts Netflix with CraveTV

Bell undercuts Netflix with CraveTV | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Canadian telco and TV firm Bell is undercutting Netflix with its C$4 (US$3.52) a month OTT service, CraveTV.

The service, previously known as ‘Project Latte’ (because, Bell says, the monthly fee is the same price as a latte), will roll out next Thursday (December 11) and cost half as much as its major rivals, Netflix and Shomi.

Bell said Crave will complement traditional TV “as an additive service featuring exclusive, premium programming, all at an affordable price”.

It added that it is already looking at some early stage projects that it might produce as originals for the service. Phil King, president of sports, and entertainment programming at Bell-owned CTV will oversee the independent production strategy for the new OTT service.

CraveTV enters a competitive Canadian online TV market. Netflix, which costs C$7.99 a month for existing subs and C$8.99 for new customers, is the longest-standing OTT player with an estimated 3.5 million subs.

Cable and TV companies Shaw and Rogers run the Shomi service, which costs US$8.99 a month. It launched in November, and no subscriber numbers have yet been broken out.

Bell has been aggressively acquiring for Crave, buying Hollywood film and TV series, UK drama as well as comedy and factual programming. It has some exclusive rights and will launch shows such as Lionsgate’s Manhattan, Hulu’s Deadbeat and Red Arrow’s Bosch as ‘originals’.

“Right out of the gate, CraveTV delivers an incredible offering of some of TV’s most-watched and most-loved shows, with more to come,” said Mike Cosentino, senior VP, programming, Bell Media. “New content will be added every week on #iCraveFridays.”
Patrick Lopez's insight:

Those me-too offering from Shomi (Rogers, Shaw) and CraveTV (Bell) seem top forget an essential element of Netflix success: original programming. Without it, this is just another SVOD service for back-catalogue and TV series you can already get with your regular subscription. Not very entertaining.

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Netflix Inc's 'Marco Polo' will be one of the most expensive TV shows in the world — here's why it's so important

Netflix Inc's 'Marco Polo' will be one of the most expensive TV shows in the world — here's why it's so important | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Netflix is preparing this month to launch its newest original series, “Marco Polo,” which focuses on the life of the famous explorer, including his interactions with Kublai Khan.

It’s one of the most expensive TV series ever made, according to The New York Times, with a cost of $90 million to produce 10 episodes. The only show with a higher budget is HBO’s “Game Of Thrones.”

But there’s another reason “Marco Polo” is so important for Netflix. The company is hoping the series will appeal to international audiences as it expands, especially because Netflix holds the international rights to “Marco Polo.”

Netflix didn’t hold any international rights to other popular shows like “House Of Cards,” which is why the series was able to appear on rival platforms in Germany and France, according to The Times.

But offering a blockbuster show that subscribers — including those overseas — can get only through Netflix could help the company reach its goal of becoming a global company.

 

Netflix is already hard at work with its international rollout, but subscriber growth hasn’t been booming as much as many had hoped.

In October, following its European launch in September, the company reported that it had added 2 million international subscribers, which is below the 2.36 million estimate many were expecting. Domestic growth has slowed too, as Netflix reported 975,000 subscribers in the U.S. versus the 1.33 million many were expecting.

This sluggish growth in the U.S. makes international expansion that much more important for Netflix. Executives and producers working on the show told The Timesthey thought the show would resonate with audiences overseas, especially because the plot focused on a heroic journey to which all cultures could relate. Netflix is also relying on the show to promote its streaming service in general as in enters new markets.

“Marco Polo” will debut on all of its global properties on Dec. 12. Check out the trailer below to get an idea of what to expect.

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Mobile edge video delivery demonstrated by Nokia and StarHub

Mobile edge video delivery demonstrated by Nokia and StarHub | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Nokia Networks has enabled live video streaming based on an LTE base station-enabled local content caching system. In partnership with Singaporean operator StarHub, Nokia helped to deliver a live streaming, multi-camera broadcast of the WTA tennis championships live from Singapore.

The Liquid Applications solution by Nokia was installed at local 4G mobile base stations within the Indoor Stadium at Singapore Sports Hub, which enabled StarHub to deliver content faster by caching and routing it via the mobile edge.

Latency is minimised by removing the necessity for content to be delivered from the data centre via the mobile core and backhaul parts of the network. Ultimately, data can be consumed by users faster and easier, with less stress on the network.

“We are excited over the potential in moving digital content to the farthest edge of our mobile network – the base stations,” said Mock Pak Lum, CTO of StarHub. “This localised mobile content delivery significantly reduces lag and boosts surfing quality, offering our subscribers the best mobile broadband experience.”

Nokia claims that Liquid Apps also enables operators to deliver services, such as augmented reality, which previously had too many latency requirements the network was unable to fulfil through the core. Instead, by storing content at the mobile edge, innovative services can now be realised.

“In addition to boosting network performance, our Liquid Applications is capable of delivering innovative, localised and personalised mobile broadband services to subscribers,” said John Lancaster-Lennox, Head of Asia South at Nokia Networks. “With this trial, StarHub has leveraged the unique capabilities of our solution for delivering the best-in-class service experience.”

The news follows last week’s announcement of the new ETSI working group focussed on Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), an open initiative taken to facilitate content caching and delivery via base stations at the mobile edge. Nokia Networks, Vodafone, IBM, Intel, NTT DoCoMo and Huawei are all confirmed to be supporting the group, and Nokia’s Liquid Apps solutions is one of the early contributed platforms for open development.
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Huawei chooses Skyfire for NFV video optimization

Huawei chooses Skyfire for NFV video optimization | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Chinese vendor Huawei has commenced a strategic partnership with Opera Software’s Skyfire unit to incorporate Skyfire’s Rocket Optimizer cloud-based video QoE solution into its Cloud Edge Virtual Multi-Service Engine (vMSE).

Huawei launched Cloud Edge at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, positioning it as a groundbreaking NFVsolution. It forms part of a broader cloud and SDN roadmap for the next ten years called SoftCOM, which is intended to help operators navigate the evolution to a more virtualised infrastructure.

The kind of flexibility promised by NFV is considered to be especially useful when it comes to video streaming, which already accounts for the significant majority of mobile broadband traffic and can have dramatic and unpredictable spikes. Huawei reckons its partnership with Skyfire will improve its ability to help out with that.

“Skyfire’s Rocket Optimizer solution is a great fit for our Cloud Edge platform, as it accounts for the two largest growing segments of mobile data consumption: audio and video,” said Jason Dai, President of Huawei CloudEdge.

“Both Huawei and Skyfire are established, cutting-edge leaders in NFV,” said Nitin Bhandari, CEO of Skyfire. “We look forward to collaborating with Huawei to help mobile operators embrace NFV in a simple way that also delivers the greatest return on investment.”

In other Chinese vendor NFV news, ZTE has had two of its top techies appointed to key positions in the new Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) group. Dick Chen, Principal Architect of SDN/NFV at ZTE, will join OPNFV’s board of directors, while Jun Zhang, Radio Network Architect at ZTE, will join OPNFV’s Technical Steering Committee.

“The advent of SDN and NFV has brought about the biggest shift in networking in the past 20 years,” said Margaret Chiosi, President of OPNFV. “To make the technologies successful, we need to collaborate to build a common foundation for the future of networks. We look forward to seeing ZTE take an active role in helping to make OPNFV and open source NFV successful.”
Patrick Lopez's insight:

After Nokia's selection of Flash Networks, Huawei partners with Skyfire. Mobile video optimization enters a new stage of maturity.

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AT&T Buying Mexico Wireless Provider Iusacell for $2.5B

AT&T Buying Mexico Wireless Provider Iusacell for $2.5B | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
AT&T today agreed to acquire Mexico wireless provider Iusacell for $2.5 billion.

The deal nets AT&T Iusacell’s licenses, network assets, retail stores as well as its approximately 8.6 million subscribers. Iusacell operates as both Iusacell and Unefón and maintains a network that covers about 70 percent of Mexico’s population. AT&T expects to expand Iusacell’s network to cover more customers in Mexico.

“Our acquisition of Iusacell is a direct result of the reforms put in place by President Peña Nieto to encourage more competition and more investment in Mexico. Those reforms together with the country’s strong economic outlook, growing population and growing middle class make Mexico an attractive place to invest,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement.

The reforms mentioned are also the root cause of dominant Mexico carrier America Movil divesting part of its wireless assets. The carrier needs to shed enough of its market share to get below 50 percent and regulations targeted at dominant carriers in Mexico.

AT&T has been rumored as one of the potential buyers for those assets. But for now it looks like AT&T is focused on it Iusacell acquisition.

AT&T says the deal will give it the assets needed to "create a first-ever North American Mobile Service area for U.S. customers calling or visiting Mexico, and Mexican customers calling or visiting the United States."

AT&T will take control of Iusacell’s 3G GSM/UMTS network, 20 and 25 MHz of 800 MHz spectrum, primarily in the southern half of the country; and an average of 39MHz of PCS spectrum nationwide.

Iusacell’s Total Play pay TV and wireline broadband business will be spun out to Grupo Salinas before the acquisition closes.

Grupo Salinas currently owns 50 percent of Iusacell and is in the process of acquiring the other half before completing its transaction with AT&T.
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Netflix rival Shomi launches today

Netflix rival Shomi launches today | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Subscription on-demand service Shomi is launching today in Canada. The service has been widely regarded as Canadian cable giants Rogers Communications and Shaw Communication’s response to the growth of Netflix in the territory. Shomi will go live in beta today offering Shaw and Rogers customers access to programming from the…

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Valery's curator insight, November 4, 2014 11:22 AM

Every week brings it "Netflix rival". Maybe even every day if we consider the entire world.

 

The hungergames of sVOD have started.

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Imagine Communications buys RGB Networks

Imagine Communications buys RGB Networks | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Video technology provider Imagine Communications has agreed to buy the assets of multiscreen video delivery firm RGB Networks. 

Imagine said that it will integrate the assets into its advertising management and video infrastructure portfolio, and that the transaction will include the majority of RGB Networks’ employees.

RGB’s technology will be used to enhance Imagine’s end-to-end video playout and distribution portfolio, boosting its TV Everywhere and video processing solutions, according to Imagine.

“The acquisition of RGB Networks, combined with our innovation in video playout and distribution, enables us to strategically navigate the convergence of IP, mobility, and the internet, which has changed the way we consume entertainment and information,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications.

“We also gain an enviable customer base and will continue to support the RGB Networks product portfolio,” he added, along with a “world class technology, operations and sales team.”

Jef Graham, chairman and CEO of RGB Networks, said: “By combining our award-winning innovations with Imagine Communications’ vision and resources, our integrated portfolios will greatly advance the transformation of the video delivery landscape.”

“We are at an inflection point in the expansion of TV Everywhere, and Imagine Communications is delivering the end-to-end portfolio required to lead the industry through this disruptive period being defined by IP, software and the cloud.”

California-based RGB Networks provides IP cloud-based video delivery solutions designed to help media providers streamline and monetise TV Everywhere and OTT services. Its technology strengths are in video packaging, cloud DVR, and ad insertion and RGB claims that its products are deployed in more than 400 communication service providers worldwide.

Imagine’s latest acquisition gives it access to RGB’s cloud-based dynamic ad insertion technology, complementing its acquisition of Kudelski-owned OpenTV’s advanced advertising unit last year. That acquisition gave the former Harris Broadcast a group of products to provide campaign management, traffic and billing, to which it now adds RGB’s CloudXtream platform.

Imagine Communications provides ad management and video infrastructure solutions and serves global TV networks, broadcast stations, multichannel video programming distributors, governments and enterprise markets.

The deal, which was agreed for undisclosed terms, is subject to customary approvals and closing conditions.

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Patrick Lopez's curator insight, January 29, 1:00 PM

After Quickfire, RGB Networks shows that large equipment manufacturers and OTT alike must invest in high density professional video encoding for their services.

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Flash Networks Announces New Congestion-Based Optimization and Acceleration for Encrypted Mobile Traffic

Flash Networks, the leading provider of mobile Internet optimization and monetization solutions, announces the release of Harmony 7.5, its Mobile Internet Services Gateway. A key differentiator of this new version is the ability to accelerate and optimize encrypted data without violating user privacy. Based on operator trials, Flash Networks has successfully demonstrated the ability to self-detect congestion in real-time and increase download speeds by 50% for all types of traffic, including encrypted traffic. The system can also be deployed as a virtual network function (VNF) and can be integrated into software defined networks (SDN).

With the introduction of 4G, LTE, and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) networks, speed has become the main service differentiator for network operators.  At the same time, due to privacy concerns, more and more mobile Internet traffic is encrypted, making it hidden to many optimization solutions. Harmony 7.5 includes smart optimization, which boosts downloads and browsing speeds for all networks, including 300 mbps LTE-A networks.  

More and more operators are turning to virtualized architecture with software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) that offers service agility and operational and capital savings. To address this trend, Flash Networks has developed an optimization and monetization solution that supports virtualization. Harmony 7.5 has been successfully used to optimize traffic in a live trial as part of an SDN topology, integrated into existing network functions and sharing the same hardware.

"Harmony 7.5 helps operators win the speed race to be the fastest network, saves network and radio resources by optimizing data only when needed, and optimizes 90% of protocols, including encrypted data, all on a virtualized architecture," said Liam Galin, President and CEO of Flash Networks.

Harmony 7.5, along with Layer 8, Flash Networks' monetization solution, will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress, March 2-5 in Barcelona, Spain at Flash Networks' stand (5D60).

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Netflix hits five million Latin America customers

Netflix hits five million Latin America customers | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Netflix hit five million Latin American customers in the fourth quarter of last quarter, from a total of 18.3 international streaming members, the firm has revealed. 

Speaking on Netflix’s Q4 earnings call, chief financial officer David Wells said that the firm has seen steady growth in the market, but said with 65 million addressable homes in Latin America there is still “a lot of room for growth.”

“What we said all along in terms of Latin America was [it is] a challenging market. We’ve had payments issues and e-commerce trust issues that we’ve wrestled with and improved over the last three to 3.5 years, but it’s been growing all along,” said Wells, adding that Netflix was “very pleased” with its performance there.

The revelation comes despite Netflix generally refusing to break down subscriber numbers by market. The firm typically only releases international and US figures, with streaming members in the US coming to 39.1 million in Q4.

Netflix said in a letter to investors this week that it plans complete its global expansion over the next two years, outlining plans to up its footprint from 50 to 200 countries.

Discussing the firm’s “incremental confidence in international,” Wells said that Netflix’s original programming continues to be “highly engaged across markets outside the US” – giving the firm confidence that the shows it produces will be enjoyed across “a bigger and bigger set of international markets.”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings added that the firm has been pushing its originals efforts in order to get global rights to content and not have to licence market by market.

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Amazon is going to start making movies for theaters and Prime

Amazon is going to start making movies for theaters and Prime | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Coming to a theater near you: Amazon plans to start producing “close to twelve” movies a year. The films will “premiere on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. just 4 to 8 weeks after their theatrical debut,” so Prime members won’t need to shell out to see them in theaters. Ted Hope, who produced films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is leading the effort.

Speaking of Crouching Tiger, Prime Instant Video competitor Netflix is, ironically, producing a sequel to that movie, which it will begin streaming the same day it premieres in IMAX theaters. Netflix also announced in October that it had acquired exclusive rights to four upcoming Adam Sandler movies.

“Amazon Original Movies will be synonymous with films that amaze, excite, and move our fans, wherever customers watch,” Hope said in a statement.
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{Core Analysis}: 2014 review and 2015 predictions

{Core Analysis}: 2014 review and 2015 predictions | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Last year, around this time, I had made some predictions for 2014. Let's have a look at how I fared and I'll risk some opinions for 2015.
Before predictions, though, new year, new web site, check it out atcoreanalysis.ca

Content providers, creators, aggregators:

"OTT video content providers are reaching a stage of maturity where content creation / acquisition was the key in the first phase, followed by subscriber acquisition. As they reach critical mass, the game will change and they will need to simultaneously maximize monetization options by segmenting their user base into new price plans and find a way to unlock value in the mobile market." 
On that front, content creation / acquisition still remains a key focus of large video OTT (See Netflix' launch of Marco Polo for $90m). Netflix has reported  $8.9B of content obligations as of September 2014. On the monetization, front, we have also seen signs of maturity, with YouTube experimenting on new premium channels and Netflix charging premium for 4K streaming. HBO has started to break out of its payTV shell and has signed deals to be delivered as online broadband only subscriptions, without cable/satellite.
Netflix has signed a variety of deals with european MSOs and broadband operators as they launched there in 2014.
While many OTT, particularly social networks and radio/ audio streaming have collaborated and signed deals with mobile network operators, we are seeing also a tendency to increasingly encrypt and obfuscate online services to avoid network operators meddling in content delivery.
Both trends will likely accelerate in 2015, with more deals being struck between OTT and network operators for subscription-based zero-rated data services. We will also see in mobile networks the proportion of encrypted data traffic raise from the low 10's to at least 30% of the overall traffic.

Wholesaler or Value provider? The discussion about the place of the network operator and MSO in content and service delivery is still very much active. We have seen, late last year, the latest net neutrality sword rattling from network operators and OTT alike, with even politicians entering the fray and trying to influence the regulatory debates. This will likely not be setted in 2015. As a result, we will see both more cooperation and more competition, with integrated offering (OTT could go full MVNO soon) and encrypted, obfuscated traffic on the rise. We will probably also see the first lawsuits from OTT to carriers with respect to traffic mediation, optimization and management. This adversarial climate will delay further monetization plays relying on mobile advertisement. Only integrated offering between OTT and carriers will be able to avail from this revenue source.Some operators will step away from the value provider strategy and will embrace wholesale models, trying to sign as many MVNO and OTT as possible, focusing on network excellence. These strategies will fail as the price per byte will decline inexorably, unable to sustain a business model where more capacity requires more investment for diminishing returns.Some operators will seek to actively manage and mediate the traffic transiting through their networks and will implement HTTPS / SPDY proxy to decrypt and optimize encrypted traffic, wherever legislation is more supple. Mobile NetworksCAPEX will be on the rise overall with heterogeneous networks and LTE roll-out taking the lion share of investments. LTE networks will show signs of weakness in term of peak traffic handling mainly due to video and audio streaming and some networks will accelerate LTE-A investments or aggressively curb traffic through data caps, throttles and onerous pricing strategies. SDN will continue its progress as a back-office and lab technology in mobile networks but its incapacity to provide reliable, secure, scalable and manageable network capability will prevent it to make a strong commercial debut in wireless networks. 2018 is the likeliest time frame. NFV will show strong progress and first commercial deployments in wireless networks, but in vertical, proprietary fashion, with legacy functions (DPI, EPC, IMS...) translated in a virtualized environment in a mono vendor approach. We will see also micro deployments in emerging markets where cost of ownership takes precedence over performance or reliability. APAC will also see some commercial deployments in large networks (Japan, Korea) in fairly proprietary implementations.Orchestration and integration with SDN will be the key investments in the standardization community. The timeframe for mass market interoperable multi vendor commercial deployment is likely 2020. To conclude this post, my last prediction is that someone will likely be bludgeoned to death with their own selfie stick, I'll put my money on Mobile World Congress 2015 as a likely venue, where I am sure countless companies will give them away, to the collective exasperation and eye-rolling of the Barcelona population. That's all folks, see you soon at one of the 2015 shows.

 

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The overweight web: Average web page size is up 15% in 2014

The overweight web: Average web page size is up 15% in 2014 | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Bigger isn’t better when it comes to web pages, but the internet has continued to put on weight this year.According to the 2014 report from the HTTP Archive, the average size of a web page is up 15 percent this year to 1,935Kb — just shy of 2Mb (or 2,048 Kb) per page. This includes an average of 95 HTTP pull requests per page.

Part of the web bloat is from a rise in images and custom CSS on webpages. CSS sizes are up 24 percent while image sizes are up 21 percent. Flash on webpages is continuing a slow, expected march toward death and decreased 13 percent this year.

You shouldn’t be quick to blame the Retina iMacs (and their need for high-resolution images) for the extra image sizes though. As web analyst Craig Bucker shows, retina accounts for a small portion of devices. Instead the rise in responsive site design, sites that can be scaled from full screen to tablet to mobile, could lead to bulked up code. Bucker’s analysis points the figure at CMS templates and frameworks that come pre-loaded with a bunch of extra features and functions that sites don’t use, but that developers neglect to take out of the code.

TechnologyEnd 2013End 2014IncreaseHTML57Kb59Kb+4%CSS46Kb57Kb+24%JavaScript276Kb295Kb+7%Images1,030Kb1,243Kb+21%Flash87Kb76Kb-13%Other205Kb223Kb+9%Total1,701Kb1,953Kb+15%Web page bloat is nothing new bulking up is nothing new, and this year’s 15 percent increase is at a slower rate than the past two years. In 2013, it rose 32 percent — the previous year it had been up 30 percent in 2012. However, even though the growth rate has slowed, it’s still bad news as mobile usage is on the rise and more frontier markets come online. Larger pages mean slower download times and more data used on mobile. With data caps on most networks, pages that have a skinny load time may see a preference (and the traffic) from impatient mobile users.
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{Core Analysis}: Building a Mobile Video Delivery Network?

{Core Analysis}: Building a Mobile Video Delivery Network? | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
In 2014, mobile video is a fact of life. It has taken nearly 5 years for the service to transition from novelty to a growing habit that is quickly becoming an everyday occurrence in mature markets. Nearly a quarter of YouTube and Netflix views nowadays are on a tablet or a smartphone. Of course, users predominantly still stream over wifi, but as LTE slowly progresses across markets, users start to take for granted the network capacity to deliver video.

Already, LTE networks start to show signs of weariness as video threatens the infrastructure and the business model of mobile content delivery.
For those who are familiar with my blog, I have been complaining for a while that mobile carriers are not doing enough to make their networks more video capable. You would think that with anywhere between 40 to 70% of the data traffic, video would warrant more interest and effort than what we see today. Many studies show that although video is the dominant and fastest growing application in mobile, its service quality is mediocre. Conviva claims that about 15% of videos in wifi and cellular networks never actually start, while Skyfire shows that close to 50% of consumers experience video problems “often” or “all the time” in the US.

Of course, part of the issue here is that 85% of these videos streamed over mobile networks are from OTT properties. In many cases, network operators and content providers are at odd when it comes to managing the service. Mobile carriers essentially see these services as non-paying passengers on their transport networks and are either looking at encouraging the offloading of this traffic or to at the very least limit the space that they occupy, particularly in congested areas.

Content providers are predominantly designing services for the internet. It just happens that some of its delivery (increasingly) occurs on mobile devices in cellular networks. The technology and economics of their service is based on the internet model, where bandwidth is plentiful and they are already paying for reach (CDNs) and access (transit and peering). Paying wireless carriers for essentially the same services was  a no-starter until a significant part of their customer based started accessing their services wirelessly on smartphones and tablets. As multiscreen and mobile becomes an important use case, content providers are downloading a streaming player into your devices when you start playing web video on your browser or are enjoining you to use their apps. These are defensive moves aimed at extending the control of the user experience. The reality today is that there are too many players with diverging controlling interests in the delivery of mobile video to make it a good experience. Soon, one will hope, the actors will recognise that no one can control the mobile delivery service end-to-end, forcing cooperation. We are starting to see signs of this with announcements such as Vodafone UK and Netflix exclusive partnership.

We are now at the crossroads where the penetration of mobile devices, the ubiquitous access to fixed and mobile broadband have redefined how video is produced and watched, but not yet how it is delivered.
What would be the attributes of a Video Delivery Network?
Well, ideally it would be designed for both mobile and fixed IP delivery. If we look first at the services it will enable and the business models it is likely to foster, such a network will need to be able to accommodate both live linear video, as well as on demand streaming. It will have to be designed to unlock advertising in a contextually relevant manner and provide frictionless compensation and service level agreement (SLA) management between the actors. Furthermore, models such as pay per use, duration passes, service vouchers, gift cards and sponsored usage will also have to be built in. The corollary from these assumptions is that, in essence, a collaborative service management method is necessary between consumers, announcers, networks and content providers.
What would this network look like, from a technology standpoint?
We have some examples today of partial implementation of these services, in a disjointed, vertical manner. Netflix has transitioned from using commercial CDNs to implementing their Open Connect network. Google Global Cache is extending the content provider’s reach into carrier networks. If we draw this trend to its logical conclusion, a well managed video network will need to have end-to-end managed quality of experience. The only way to achieve this is to integrate player/app/browser/user experience with Radio Access Network (RAN) congestion management, which itself provides explicit data to the Core network for active traffic management that is policy-managed by a negotiated SLA/QoE between content provider, announcer and network. Effectively, this would force network operators to open APIs for announcers and content providers to control the delivery of the content from a quality/speed standpoint. This is the carrier’s contribution to the bargain. The resulting quality of delivery for premium services will be a negotiation in real-time between the demand (content provider and announcer) and the supply (network conditions) at this point in time, for that service, for this user in a specific location. The quality rating at the end or throughout the session should be used as a metric in the calculation of the transfer price of the service. All this can be arbitrated and managed by SLA as it is the case on the internet today.

For freemium, free to air and advertising based services, privacy and regulatory provisions would warrant that each party involved in the ad targeting would retain the use of the data they collect and provide a geographic / demographic / contextual abstraction layer to determine the ad selection. As a result, carriers will need to fundamentally change the way data is collected and analysed, transitioning from operational to marketing view if they wish to monetize the user segmentation. The ad insertion itself should occur as close to the user as possible to enhance contextual and individual granularity. This requirement implies that for encrypted traffic, encryption as well occurs at the point of ad insertion and not before to enable targeting. Technologically, the delivery method should rely on adaptive bit rate DASH to make best use of the network resources, but the encoding should occur in the carrier’s network, with mezzanine files pre-cached and controlled by the content providers.
That ad insertion, encoding and encryption location has been a moving target in the past years because it is where the control point is from a content provider’s perspective. They have allowed CDNs in the past to perform these tasks because they had no other choice, they will need to allow carriers to perform the same to unlock this jigsaw. This is the content provider’s contribution to the bargain.

Inevitably, announcers will have to create an inventory of ads that are mobile specific, not only targeted at devices but at contexts of mobility. Measured quality, high engagement rate and hyper targeted segmentation should help raise CPM in that market.
At last, at the device and radio level, there is no reason that content that is popular would have to go all the way to the content provider’s origin servers to be delivered. An intelligent video service would be able to detect if the service requested is live and linear and watched by others in the area and switch to a broadcast delivery. If the service is on demand, but the content exists closer to the user’s location that is where it should be served from, being from someone else’s device, a network PVR or a cache in the RAN or the core network. There is where network virtualization will take its full capacity, when virtualized storage and networking function can be pushed down to the device level, peer-to-peer transmission will become possible.

What these trends indicate is that a video delivery network will need to be vertically integrated. The boundaries between devices, radio, core and content provider networks will subside, with automatization, programmability and virtualization enabling the efficient delivery and management of highly reliable and profitable video service. These questions and more are reviewed in details in my latest reports "Video Monetization and Optimization 2014" and "SDN - NFV in Wireless Networks".

Originally published in The Mobile Network in September 2014.
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Claude Seyrat's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:36 PM

One short, dense and great overview of Mobile Video Delivery - a must read!

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{Core Analysis}: Video monetization and optimization 2014 market share update

{Core Analysis}: Video monetization and optimization 2014 market share update | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
As it is now customary, I am releasing today an end of year market share update for video monetization and optimization deployments. You can find here the market shares released in the spring if you want to compare the vendors' progression.

As usual, I provide market share calculations in term of deployment per vendor, the unit being one operator / country. For instance, Verizon Wireless counts for one deployment, even though the operator might deploy 40+ data centres. Groups such as Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom or Telefonica count for each of the properties where the technology is deployed.


This update is characterized by an acceleration of adoption and deployment of the technology in emerging and growth markets, together with replacements either on a per property or group-wide for tier one mature market groups. New categories of deployments, from MVNO to interconnect providers are also making their appearance, while some operators are also turning off the capability.

Large telecom equipment manufacturers have mostly abandoned their in-house projects and are relying on the vendors in this segment for video management, as illustrated by recent partnerships (Skyfire/Huawei, Flash Networks/Nokia, Openwave/Cisco...others unannounced).

Market shares
Citrix
Citrix’ market share is 31%. The company has grown with the market in the period. Citrix regains the market leadership in deployment with this update.
Flash Networks
Flash Network’s market share is 30% . The company has lost market share since the last update, and is sliding in second position.
Openwave Mobility
Openwave Mobility's market share is 12%. The company has grown the fastest of all vendors since the last update.
Nokia, Opera & Vantrix
Nokia, Opera and Vantrix market share are 6%. Nokia has grown, Opera remains stable and Vantrix decreased market share since the last update.
Others
Allot, Avvasi, Venturi, (in alphabetical order) share the remaining 9%.
The market share calculations are based on a proprietary {Core Analysis} database, collecting data such as vendors, resellers, value of the deployment in term of total cost of ownership for the operator, operator name, country and region. These data are cross-referenced from vendors' and operators' individual disclosures. This database also includes over 130 opportunities in video optimization that are at different stage of maturity (internal evaluation, vendor trial, RFI, RFx...) and will close over the next 18 months.

The market share is valid at the time of publishing but change on a weekly basis, as new deals are awarded.

The market shares in term of number of mobile broadband subscribers and revenue is not published here but is available as part of my workshop or retainer service on the video optimization market. The rankings in term of revenue per vendor are quite different from the installed market share, as different price strategies and different geographic markets are considered.

Full analysis, progression and strategy of each vendor is examined together with market dynamics in my report.
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Netflix boss predicts the end of broadcast TV

Netflix boss predicts the end of broadcast TV | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Netflix CEO Reed Hasting has said that broadcast TV’s days are numbered.

The boss of the US-listed streaming service was speaking at a company event in Mexico this week when he made the bold proclamation that over the air TV will last another 16 years, suggesting it would become antiquated in the face of new platforms and services.

“Broadcast TV will probably last until 2030,” Hastings said in Mexico. He said broadcast was “kind of like the horse — you know, the horse was good until we had the car”.

Cable reaches about 100 million homes in the US although traditional pay TV subscriber numbers are in decline. There are about 125 million TV homes in total.

Netflix has expanded rapidly this year, launching in a swathe of European territories and announcing an Australian roll-out, which will take place early next year. In its domestic US market, it had 37.2 million customers at last count and internationally, reported 15.8 million.

Netflix also broke out Lat-Am specific customer numbers for the first time at the Mexico press event, saying it had topped the five million mark. It usually reports an overall international subscriber and customer number and it marked the first time it had given region-specific numbers for Latin America.
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OTT TV revenues to pass US$10 billion by 2018

OTT TV revenues to pass US$10 billion by 2018 | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Over-the-top (OTT) pay TV revenues will grow from US$5.8 billion in 2014 to just over $10 billion in 2018, according to Infonetics Research.

The research also claims that the global pay TV market totalled US$117 billion in the first half of 2014, an increase of 3.9% from the first half of 2013.

“Subscription-based over-the-top providers like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon have seen phenomenal growth over the last couple of years. With a combination of wide availability across end devices, user-friendly interfaces, and access to vast content libraries, these providers continue to challenge traditional pay-TV providers and are in the early stages of siphoning off revenue,” said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics Research.
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Google’s Project Loon Woos Telecom Giants

Some telecom analysts view Project Loon, Google’s effort to beam Internet signals from high-altitude balloons, as a threat to incumbent carriers. But Google wants to partner rather than compete, and some large wireless players have stepped forward.

The search giant said Monday it will team up with Telstra to test 20 Loon balloons in Western Queensland next month. The telecom provider — Australia’s largest — will give Google access to wireless spectrum and terrestrial base stations, a Google spokeswoman said.

Google is running similar tests with Britain’s Vodafone in New Zealand and Spain’s Telefonica in South America.

Loon aims to operate a ring of balloons circling the Earth at roughly 65,000 feet that receive and transmit via LTE, a popular mobile communication standard, to extend existing wireless networks to less-populated areas that previously were considered too expensive to cover.

The effort faces substantial technical and regulatory challenges, but its business model is emerging. Google’s pitch is that telecom companies keep their relationships with subscribers, while Loon reduces the cost to expand into rural areas and ultimately fills out spotty coverage.

If Google manages to get commercial service up and running – a big if – it plans to share revenue with telecom providers.

“We partner with telcos in every country we roll out in,” said Mike Cassidy, vice president of Project Loon, during a talk on November 8 at The Next Billion conference in New York. “The telcos are trying to reach their rural population that they can’t reach today. The telco does the billing for the customer, they own the customer, they do the customer support. They market the service to the customer.”

Google hopes to make Loon a cost-effective alternative to building new ground-based cell towers, he explained.

“We ask, ‘What if we put the cell towers up in the sky and share the revenue with you?’ They say, ‘sounds great,’ and it’s working really well,” Cassidy said.

However, the relationship is not as cozy as Cassidy portrays, according to Rajeev Chand, head of research at Rutberg & Company, an investment bank focused on the telecom industry.

Telecom companies are concerned that Google could use Project Loon to compete with them, Chand said. Google already competes with broadband Internet providers through its fast fiber-optic Internet service, Google Fiber, in some U.S. cities.

However, telecom companies in developing markets have a “genuine interest” in testing integration with Loon, he added.

Chand recently talked to 12 wireless network operators about Loon and heard mixed views. Some, like Telstra, Vodafone and Telefonica, are already testing it, while others are considering tests and a third group did not want to get involved. He declined to mention other company names, but said they are all outside the U.S.

Loon may help telecom operators reach people who currently lack Internet connectivity, which is a goal of many governments. So a partnership with Loon may help telecom companies negotiate with regulators for more wireless spectrum, Chand said.

Such partnerships may also help wireless operators negotiate with existing telecom-equipment makers, such as Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, which sell components for existing network expansion through cell towers, he added.

“Loon has graduated from silly to an experiment that people need to pay attention to, partly because of telecom operator involvement in these tests,” Chand said.
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Opera introduces faster-loading video in Mini browser for iOS

Opera introduces faster-loading video in Mini browser for iOS | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Opera has released a new version of its Mini browser for Apple’s iOS platform, this time adding a feature called “video boost”.

One of the key features of Opera Mini has long been “Turbo”, its ability to render webpages on the server side so that the user gets to use less data and see faster-loading, albeit compressed, pages (and yes, this has privacy implications.) Video boost, rolled out in version 9.0 of Opera Mini for iOS on Thursday, is pretty much that, for video.

The video boost feature largely stems from Opera’s $155 million purchase of the browser outfit Skyfire last year – this was Skyfire’s standout feature, and Skyfire’s “Rocket Optimizer” engine is behind what we’re seeing this week.

As Opera Mini for iOS product manager Maciej Kocemba told me, video boost doesn’t transcode video that is already of low quality — but when it does transcode it, it can compress it to as little as a tenth of the original size. The feature, which is part of Opera Turbo, can also be deactivated if needed.

“If you’re streaming over Airplay to a full-HD TV, you would like to turn it off,” Kocemba said. “But in most cases it’s one of those fire-and-forget features.”
Patrick Lopez's insight:

We are starting to see the synergies between Opera's mini browser and Skyfire video technology being deployed commercially.

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