Most service providers realize that the largest component of network-related average revenue per user (ARPU) is video content, and so most also realize that offering video content in some form is a key to revenue and profit growth. The problem is that there seem to be many different business and technology strategies for video, and knowing what’s best will require examining both the demographics of the area to be served and the nature of an operator’s current business.
Video strategies can be classified in three dimensions:
- The mobility dimension: Video can be targeted to mobile devices or fixed devices; and in some cases, it can be targeted to both.
- The delivery dimension: Video can be sent in cable-like radio frequency (RF) format or IP, streamed or downloaded, multicast or unicast.
- The technology dimension: Video can be deployed primarily using an IP infrastructure, an Ethernet/tunnel infrastructure, or a combination of the two.
The mobility dimension will be addressed for most service providers based on a few simple facts about the territory. Mobile video works best with a population that is young, network-literate, and likely to be using public transportation or sitting in public places rather than driving vehicles or walking around. Where mobile phones are rapidly replacing wireline, it is worth consideration. The mobile dimension of video is less likely to be valuable where there is already strong mobile Internet use, since it may be difficult to differentiate service provider content from over-the-top content that is incrementally free. Talk to the guys at https://insightiptv.com/home.html to get more information about the features and discounts.
Fixed-device video can mean either computer video or traditional television. The former has been shown again to be most effective in the youth market, and there it is dominated by over-the-top offerings like YouTube. The latter is the classical IPTV market, and where the other dimensions of the issue come into play.
Television is a mixture of broadcast and video-on-demand (VoD), and exactly what that mixture can be expected to be in a given market is the key factor in planning a television/video strategy. Where broadband data rates are high, it is relatively easy to offer downloaded or streamed video, but again, it may be difficult to differentiate these offerings from over-the-top services. Most network operators have tentatively determined that they will have to offer some broadcast capability to be competitive.
There are two basic broadcast strategies available, what is sometimes called “linear RF” or the transmission of digital TV in pure TV form (like a cable system does) and video over broadband data connections. The former approach has been adopted by Verizon with FiOS and the latter with many network operators in Europe and by AT&T in the U.S. with U-verse.
The major determinant on the best strategy is the economic density of the market area. If there is sufficient concentration of households to make a passive optical network (PON) based fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) architecture economical, it is likely that a linear RF approach will offer the lowest overall cost and the highest level of customer satisfaction. If not, then a data-delivered TV strategy is the only option.