This past Wednesday, I was privileged to share the virtual stage with Teresa Cottam, Chief Analyst from Telesperience. We presented a Pipeline Knowledgecast webinar called “What Video Optimization Experts Are Not Telling You”.
If a capacity crunch were the only problem, the only solution would be more infrastructure. Fortunately, targeted video optimization can significantly reduce congestion problems so that operators can serve more high performance video sessions to more concurrent subscribers.
But with proper video optimization, an innovative spirit and the proper tools, operators can harness video and deliver far more valuable video-based services that can deliver them into a new age of profitability.
Yesterday, Sandvine announced a video optimization implementation together with Mobixell at a new US customer, nTelos Wireless. Beyond the story of a new customer and the partnership between Mobixell and Sandvine, there lies another, more global story.
There’s no secret that the video optimization market is evolving. Needs are changing as operators adjust their vision of the future. While most optimization sales until now have been about cost savings or traffic volume control, mobile operators are talking more about what the next major source of revenue will be.
One thing is for sure: Video optimization will play a part in the future of winning mobile operators, regardless of whether they are looking only to reduce their bottom line or to add new services that can complement, and perhaps someday eclipse basic data sales.
As Don Bowman, Sandvine CTO, pointed out in a recent blog post, not all video optimization solutions are alike. And that’s an important fact for operators to remember as they consider future business planning. If an operator is looking to simply cut costs with optimization, then they can achieve that goal with one of the advanced optimization solutions available today.
But down the road, the winners among mobile operators will be those who are brave enough to accept that straight data revenue will eventually flatten out, (as did messaging and voice before it), and that they need to embrace new network monetization models to ensure a profitable future. Whatever those monetization models will be, they start with a network that can handle data intensive services – optimized networks.
Operators are starting to take baby steps – Mobixell customers are using policy management to offer targeted services, including video optimization; they are already generating millions of advertising dollars with our platform; and they are showing growing interest in the potential that mobile customer engagement tools hold for the future of their service strategies.
Eventually, some brave operator will step forward and do something crazy – perhaps set up a policy to buy and sell premium content for their subscribers, similar to the cable TV model. Whatever that crazy step into the future of mobile mega revenue, it will rely on optimized video. This vision of the future is not just a dream: It has to happen for operators to move past the commodity data model. It is what is driving our product goals today so that we can offer operators easy-to-use tools for generating new revenues. This is only a peek into the future with video optimization as a prerequisite for network monetization.
Tell us what you think.
We’ll be discussing this and related issues in an upcoming webinar on May 30th together with Teresa Cottam of Telesperience titled ‘What Video Optimization Experts Are Not Telling you‘. More in our next post.
What a response!
The press release that we published yesterday with Commtouch proved one thing for sure: Content filtering sells. Then again, maybe it was the headline:
Protecting Children from Mobile Porn Gets Push from National Governments
The irony, of course, is that we and Commtouch are trying to help mobile operators comply with child protection legislation and people seem to be more interested in porn than in content filtering. I suppose that should not be too surprising. But it does underscore the issue: Porn is big business. But, for better or worse, it’s still going to be big enough even if parents can protect their children from it with the help of their mobile network operators.
Governments, including the UK, Ireland and Australia are debating the merits of requiring mobile subscribers to opt-in if they want to be able to receive certain content categorized as unsuitable for children.
Constantly changing content, new sites and user-generated sites with a mix of family-friendly and inappropriate content pose a challenge to operators who will be required to enable the regulation of specified content.
Mobixell Seamless Access Mobile Internet Gateway, using Commtouch GlobalView™ URL Filtering content categorization, enables telecom operators to manage complex content delivery policies, offering a variety of opt-in user protection services, including parental control, real-time rating and content verification.
For more information, check out the press release.
And for those of you celebrating, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Director of Corporate Marketing
I know we’ve quoted Yogi Berra* in a previous post. But he’s just so quotable, isn’t he?
If you were thinking that the coming storm, predicted to flood mobile networks with streaming video, will make mobile data optimization too costly to implement down the road, think again. Today, Mobixell announced Mobixell EVO™. Mobixell EVO is an entirely new approach to mobile optimization which discourages mobile operators from optimizing overall data volume and, instead, focus on optimizing congestion in the network. Why? Good question.
We’ve been talking with our mobile operator customers, analysts and other industry experts for the last few months and they’ve been telling us how their projections for mobile infrastructure investment is going to outstrip data revenue in the next few years. They’re telling us that data optimization is not going to make the situation any better. Until now, their optimization solutions expand incrementally as data volume grows. So our CTO office sat down and figured out a way to keep both infrastructure investment down and the optimization hardware footprint limited. It sounds almost ridiculous until you consider that the way many network operators look at optimization is outdated (or, it will be soon).
When data optimization is applied to reduce overall volume, there is little impact on Quality of Experience (QoE) in congested networks. But when optimization focuses only on congestion, predicting near-congestion before it occurs, not only does it require far less in hardware resources since it ignores traffic that doesn’t affect QoE. It also puts end users at the center of the solution – lower congestion means better video streaming and a browsing experience. Add to that an open, cloud-based architecture to call on hardware resources only when they are required and you’ve got Mobixell EVO.
Now, Mobixell EVO is, for the most part, just a framework at this point – a set of principles that are guiding R&D into the future. Mobixell Seamless Access already includes elements of the Evolved Optimization approach – DBRA, for example – and we are planning announcements in 2012 of more features conceived through this new approach. Same industry-leading Seamless Access platform. But now an even better bet for the future when mobile video hits levels that could otherwise get out of hand.
We look forward to optimizing your network long into your future. Yes. There is a future for optimization and mobile broadband, thanks to Mobixell EVO. Whew.
*Again, if you are not familiar with American Baseball legends, or with Yogi Berra quotes in particular, check him out on Wikipedia for a few sparkling examples. He is a genius of accidentally brilliant quotes.
My 3-year-old daughter discovered how to use my smartphone. She is now using it so proficiently, that she found the little YouTube icon on my Samsung Galaxy and decided to kill my data package by constantly watching her favorite water slide videos. At age 3, she can’t decide which water slide she likes the most. For the first 2 minutes, she loved the red one. Then a yellow one caught her attention in Related Videos. So she jumped off to that one. But oh, there’s an orange elephant slide she just had to see in the middle of watching the yellow one. Would you believe that watching her made me think about data optimization? Okay, maybe not right there and then. But it did cross my mind just now.
Sitting on the couch next to my daughter, getting dizzy watching her wild ride through water slide video clips, I toyed with the thought of going the Ritalin route to get her to focus. “Just watch ONE clip!” But I held my tongue. (After all she’s only three. BTW, I not advocating medicating toddlers.)
This video-hyperactivity doesn’t seem to fade when childhood ends. It is so typical to us adult YouTube watchers. We can’t even finish watching one video before another video catches our attention. We figure “we’ve got the point, we can now move on to something else”. Maybe we should all be on Ritalin so that we can at least finish enjoying one video. But then again, maybe that would just be too boring. If the solution does not include ADHD meds, at least we can help the operators who have to deal with our video madness.
Take a look at a recent article/interview with Noam Green in Mobile Industry Review to find out more about how user-aware video optimization can serve as a suitable alternative to Ritalin.
I’m not an iPhone or iPad user. It’s not as though I don’t love the design and the features. Samsung has done a bang up job with design. I will admit, though, that sometimes I get iPad envy at meetings. But I’ve been very happy with my Android phone for both work and play.
Then, something happened a couple of weeks and I realized I’d made the right choice (at least for now). I was meeting with someone about a position at Mobixell and she wanted to show me something on our website, mobixell.com. She pulled out her iPhone 4 and browsed to the site. Then she stopped on the home page and told me how weird it was that there was this great big white patch in the design at the top of the page. After my double-take, I realized what the problem was. I explained that the site was fine but that her iPhone was ignoring the Flash animation at the top of the page.
I browsed to the site on my Samsung Galaxy and showed her how it was supposed to look.
That experience was frustrating on several levels. First of all, it hadn’t occurred to me that there are elements of our own website that are affected by the Apple iOS restriction on Adobe Flash technology. (With 200 million devices running Apple iOS, that’s a lot of frustration.) She was frustrated that her really really cool iPhone didn’t perform and she didn’t know whether to blame the site, the phone or her network. From the Mobixell point of view, it seemed crazy that there was no way to get her iPhone to play the animation without paying for an app or some other workaround.
It was, however, an opportunity to practice my pitch about a new feature in Mobixell Seamless Access that we were about to announce which gives mobile operators the opportunity to deliver Adobe Flash video content on all iOS devices. I explained that the Flash animation would also be supported in an upcoming version. She expressed her hope that her operator would install Seamless Access. So, it wasn’t all frustrating (at least for me).
We’re going to be updating that banner on our site soon. Adobe Flash is the perfect tool for designging what we want. But as a marketer, I’m still concerned about all those iPhone and iPad users whose operators aren’t using Seamless Access yet. At least I have my Android phone.
Director, Corporate Marketing
Like snowflakes, no two mobile devices are alike. Even before screens started growing and services moved from voice to messaging to media and apps, each handset had its own unique set of characteristics. But today, even devices from a single vendor differ dramatically one from the other. An Apple iPad is not just a big iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy Tab is not just a big Galaxy.
To provide effective Web and video optimization, only experts with years of experience dealing with the literally hundreds of both physical and digital parameters for each device can make sure that end users get the quality of experience that they expect when they chose their devices.
For more on device-aware video optimization, see the entire article in Total Telecom.
VP Marketing, Mobixell
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At the bottom of Teresa’s blog post you can play the podcast of the whole interview where we discussed some of the ways mobile operators can beat the Capacity Crunch (no, not Cap’n Crunch®).
And, if you listen all the way through, you’ll hear my short list of ‘hot’ tips to mobile operators.
Thanks Teresa, it was a pleasure speaking with you.
VP Marketing, Mobixell
Yesterday, I had a conversation with Nick Wood from Total Telecom. He wanted to know what I thought about the steps mobile operators are taking to handle capacity limits that are being threatened by the growing tide of mobile video.
Bottom line, operators are starting to come around to the realization that moving from 3G to 4G is not enough. It’s kind of like my commute to work. The roads authority decided that it was time to add two more lanes in each direction to the congested highway I take to work. Well, once the new lanes opened, driving was great… for maybe two months. When people heard how fast the traffic was going, I guess they all went out and bought a car. The result was worse traffic jams than before. Now, in the words of Yogi Berra, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” For sure, no operator wants to hear their subscribers say that.
Adding capacity, like adding lanes on the highway, will only make people want to use it even more. Then it gets into a cycle of build and fill. With all the new devices and services coming on line, operators need to use a multi-disciplinary approach to keep the data, and especially ever more popular video flowing. In addition to building capacity, operators can reduce traffic loads with Web and video optimization, tiered charging plans and even giving subscribers more control over whether and when they want more performance or better economy.
I wish there were so many options for reducing traffic jams.
(You can read more about my conversation with Total Telecom here.)
VP Marketing, Mobixell