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Video: LTE Multicast as a more efficient mobile data delivery stream

20 May 2014 IHS Markit Expert

Mobile operators are now able to send live TV feeds to multicast-enabled handsets without fear of overloading their network.

Tim Traynor

Interview Transcript

Wireless operators experimenting with multicast

Wireless operators have a very high class problem. They've got customers with record levels of smart phones and they've rolled out, in many cases, 4G networks. Now, we've seen that if you put a smartphone in the hands of a customer in a 4G environment, their video consumption on their mobile device shoots way up. IHS is now predicting that in five years, wireless mobile data consumption will increase by over 500 percent.

That's both an opportunity and a challenge for wireless operators and one of the tools in the tool kit to be able to offer that much video over the fixed spectrum is multicast, so wireless operators are starting to look at video events, large audience, aggregated and live. That means any kind of sporting event or spectators within an arena that are both watching the event and watching the content of their mobile devices or large audience event shows like the Emmys or the Grammys.

Mobile advertising embracing the opportunity of multicast

Advertisers should be comfortable with a multicast model for two reasons. Number one, in a multicast model, the type of programming that you want to broadcast view the multicast has aspects that make it attractive to the advertiser. That being you're talking to a large live audience and frankly, the audience can't fast forward through the commercials. That makes it attractive. Number two is the model itself is very, very similar to broadcast television, which is obviously a world where advertisers are very comfortable as far as the economics of advertising.

The most significant barrier to multicast implementation

The limiting factor for LT multicast right now is the handset itself. The modem in the handset is really a chip needs to be able to read a multicast bit-stream. Q42013 new phones started shipping with this capability. IHS believes that in a year time, the majority of new handsets will be multicasting enabled, so what you'll see in the meantime is the larger operators starting to experiment with trials. The highest profiled trial I know of is the 2015 Super Bowl where Verizon will be offering the Super Bowl in multicast.

Tim Traynor Principal Analyst, Wireless Ecosystems, IHS Technology


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