Mobile Video: The Next Frontier

Carl Weinschenk

The impact of video streaming and conferencing will increase during the next few years. The overt impact will be on how businesses communicate internally and with each other, partners, suppliers and the public. The more subtle effect will be to drive the creation of more and deeper infrastructure.

 

This PC Magazine story says that after years in the background, improved quality made video streaming and conferencing more central issues at Interop this year. The story offers a sampling of products representative of the trend: LifeSize Communications' video and audio telepresence system, Radvision's Scopia United Communications platform, Polycom's Video Border Proxy 200EW, and the Metron management application from eTelemetry.

 

Though it is aimed at consumers, AT&T's launch of its Mobile TV service is good news for corporate video-streaming proponents because it will make people familiar and more comfortable with this form of communication. This Associated Press story in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the service is similar to Verizon's Wireless V Cast Mobile TV, though it offers two exclusive channels. Both use MediaFLO from Qualcomm. AT&T's Mobile TV is distinct from its CV service, which sends short on-demand videos. The new service will be available in 58 markets and initially will be available on two phones.

 

Clearly, there is significant crossover between corporate and consumer use of video streaming. Besides winning the longest title contest, Vickie McGovern, Avaya's vice president of global customer service and communications enabled business processes solutions, agrees that video's profile is rising. McGovern thinks the drivers are the popularity of handheld video and the increased flexibility of what can be done.

 

No longer is a one-to-one video connection or a video conference a series of talking heads that add little real value. The possibilities are limitless. Last week, for instance, an online video magazine launched called The 60 Second Marketer. The site provides subscribers with minute-long updates on marketing trends via Web 2.0 and video streaming.


 

The mobile broadcasting landscape will remain confusing, however. In-Stat predicts country-specific standards will dominate. This raises the specter of the type of segmentation and confusion that hinders the cell phone sector. But video is too promising to be held down. In-Stat says subscription revenue will reach $12 billion in 2012.

 

The rollout of various IP-based wired and wireless video services will be complex and confusing. There are two elements, however, that bode well for businesses: The spread of these services will stimulate marketing, customer retention and sales innovation, and it will provide a catalyst for network infrastructure investment.



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