Streaming Forum 14: Ericsson Predicts the Video Landscape in 2020

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People are online, and even places are online. By the year 2020, expect to see a lot of things going online. That was one of the findings of an Ericsson report on the changing connected world presented by Lisa Skelton, head of marketing for video and data traffic optimization at Ericsson, at the current Streaming Forum conference now underway in London. We’ll have over 50 billion connected things by that time, and 15 billion of them will offer video.

Mobile devices, already a hot area, will continue to grow in use and importance. Globally, we’ll have over 9.3 billion mobile device subscriptions, with 4x growth in mobile broadband subscriptions between 2013 and 2019. We’ll also see a 10x growth in mobile data traffic. In Western Europe, expect a 636 percent growth in mobile traffic, but only an 8 percent growth in new subscriptions. Over 50 percent of mobile data traffic will come from video.

As Skelton showed, mobile device traffic will go up dramatically and most of that will be video, but subscriptions will only rise slightly. Network operators will want to be paid for all that traffic, so tiered data caps are likely to remain. To help customers enjoy branded video without worry about data caps, Ericsson predicts that toll-free data will be a new business model.

With toll-free data, the operator enters into a partnership with content providers. Users see a promotional offer to watch a video with the understanding that it won’t count against their data cap. Backend processing will control access and the viewer will get free content. With users expected to tightly monitor their online video use, it’s a way for brands to get their messages out there.

Expect to see tighter and tighter collaborations between content providers and service providers, Skelton said. Agreements like the one between Netflix and Comcast will become more common.

Collaboration will be key, she concluded, and agile networks will thrive.

Watch the full presentation: 

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