Showing posts from October, 2018

U.S. Consumers View "Choice" in New Ways

Ever since the advent of satellite-delivered programming, choice has been the core value linear video subscriptions have offered. But value now has become an equally-big issue.
Some 90 percent of U.S. residents polled by Morning Consult say that the most important factor when deciding to subscribe to a TV or streaming service is cost.
Some 56 percent say cable TV is "unaffordable" and 47 percent say the same about satellite, while just 17 percent deem streaming unaffordable.
But the real issue is value. Those same respondents also say they object to paying for channels they do not watch, and prefer to buy only channels they actually watch. On the other hand, consumers also say they value services with quantity and quality of shows.

source: Morning Consult
So “choice” has a new meaning. Choice once meant having scores to hundreds of programming choices, not three broadcast TV stations. Increasingly, choice now means “paying only for what I choose to watch.”
Where the traditional…

Main Trend in Video Always is "More Choice"

Even if the initial impetus for the cable TV business was signal access (bringing metro market TV signals to distant areas unable to receive the signals off air), the more-recent growth since the advent of satellite-delivered programming in the mid-1970s is “greater programming choice.”
“Choice,” in those days, meant “access to more channels and genres.” These days, “choice” means “ability to buy only the channels I want.” The former trend drove adoption of linear subscription video. That latter drives over the top subscription video.

source: Brightcove
Whether you look at linear video or any form of over-the-top streaming, the value proposition always is about "more choice."
Value is the other big issue, now. Potential customers want greater value, which tends to mean lower prices per subscription.

How Much Share Will Fixed 5G Gain?

To mobile substitution we now have to look to fixed wireless substitution for networks built using cabling of some sort (hybrid fiber coax, fiber to home, fiber to cabinet, all copper).
As always, opinions vary about the potential amount of substitution, in urban or rural markets, with the greatest skepticism about impact on rural markets. In many cases, that is because of signal propagation characteristics of millimeter wave spectrum in such bands as 28 GHz and 39 GHz.
It is reasonable to suggest that many believe lower-frequency signals in the 3.5-GHz band might be more important in rural areas, as 3-GHz and 5-GHz frequencies already are used by fixed wireless providers in rural areas.
Analysts at CoBank are in the camp that believes millimeter wave spectrum will not have very much impact on rural internet access, and also believes fixed wireless using millimter spectrum will be less successful than Verizon estimates.
Still,  others might note that, in urban and suburban areas, even …

Small Cells and Millimeter Wave Spectrum are Key to 5G Cost

Though it is likely 5G infrastructure costs will rise for some service providers, costs might rise very slightly for many, and could be lower for some. Some fear capital investment could be double to triple the levels of 4G. By other estimates, 5G will require just four percent higher capital investment than did 4G.
But cost parameters are changing so much that some expect 5G capital investment might actually be less than 4G, even if the historic trend is that each next generation mobile platform requires incrementally more investment.
Korea Telecom says that, in its 5G deployment to support the recent Olympic games, the use of 28-GHz spectrum required small cells. But KT says that, compared to 4G, that meant four times the number of cells.
That sounds like a huge increase. In fact, it represents a shrinking of cell coverage radius only about 50 percent. And is well within historical changes in the mobile infrastructure business.
Since the earliest days of the mobile business, cell sizes …

Consumers Can't Tell You, Today, Whether They Want 5G

Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder, had some famous opinions about market research. One reason Jobs was skeptical about much market research is that it is impossible for a consumer to evaluate something that person has never seen, a reasonable enough assumption.

“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them,” he once said. “Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”

There is something of that happening when we take surveys of what people know and want from 5G, something they never have experienced, even if 5G arguably is similar in some ways to prior generations of mobile service.

A recent PwC survey, for example, found 46 percent of respondents were familiar with the term 5G, without prompting. So a majority of respondents presumably have no way of knowing what 5G is, or what it might mean.

The point is that some skepticism is warranted. People cannot make actual buying decisions about products they have not yet seen, touched, tasted, smelled or heard.

And, as of…

Some Customers Need More Fiber, Some None

Sometimes the truth emerges even when not intended; at times even when the opposite argument is being made. Consider the argument for gradual introduction of more optical fiber into hybrid fiber coax networks, which is sound thinking.
Though making that case, one optical supplier executive has said that “connectivity is increasingly transforming from static wireline to mobile or wireless delivery,” said Cate McNaught, Corning Optical Communications emerging applications market development manager.
That is not to say fixed network access is going away, or will not underpin wireless or mobile network backhaul (fronthaul, anyhaul). It is to acknowledge that content and video consumption on mobile and untethered devices seems to be the main trend right now, with mobile over the top video services proliferating, and more content supplied by all OTT services being consumed on mobile devices.
The issue then is not the need for more optical fiber in access networks, but the business models an…

Is Network Slicing the Key to Mobile Speed Tiers?

Speed tiers are commonplace on fixed internet access networks, while they have been impossible on mobile networks. But that could change.

Virtually nobody seems ever to have suggested that network neutrality outlaws speed tiers, where different service plans are available on fixed networks, featuring differing speeds (25 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 300 Mbps and 1 Gbps, for example).

That might seem odd, since much of the language around network neutrality has been opposition to the creation of fast lanes on the internet. In principle, we might agree that the specific objection is to blocking or slowing lawful apps, not fast lanes as such.

Network neutrality often is said to allow internet service providers to “block” lawful content or charge additional fees to content providers when quality of service mechanisms are applied to service tiers.

Were the real objection fast lanes, then net neutrality supporters would have objected to differential speed tiers, where consumers can choose to buy slower o…

What is the Killer App for 5G?

Early on in the 3G era, video calling was a hoped-for new “killer app.” That did not happen. But it has become commonplace on 4G networks. In a similar way, content services were expected to flourish in the 3G era. That did not happen until 4G.
Augmented reality apps were supposed to develop on 3G networks. That still has not happened.
In fact, many would find it hard to point to a killer app  for 3G. Eventually, new apps do emerge. And some might say the early value of 4G was just speed.  
You might argue text messaging was the new killer use case for 2G. You might suggest mobile email and Internet access was the legacy of 3G. Video entertainment is developing as the singular new app that defines 4G.
Internet of things is expected to drive the futuristic new use cases for 5G. Many believe 5G fixed wireless, though, will represent the early new use cases, beyond bolstering consumer internet access speeds and augmenting 4G capacity in geographic areas where congestion is an issue on bus…

Will 5G New Use Cases Flourish Only in 6G Era?

If past patterns hold, 5G will reach its peak of adoption in a bit more than a decade, while having a useful life as long as 20 years. So we will know, within a decade, how well 5G lives up to its promise as a platform for new use cases related to internet of things, and how well new ultra-low-latency applications have developed.
There is precedent for something else as well. Many innovations hoped for in the 3G era arguably flourished only in the 4G era. So it is conceivable that although 5G will see the early years for many new use cases, those applications will thrive only in the 6G era.
source: Chetan Sharma
Despite clear evidence that mobile operators in the United States, Japan, South Korea and China are charging fast into 5G, with firms in each of those countries believing 5G leadership will lead to broader benefits, many operators in other nations are less optimistic about the near term business case.
In some cases, that skepticism or agnosticism also has other roots: recent and…