Mobile video services gaining momentum: Study
Carriers and mobile equipment vendors are supportive in the drive toward real-time video, which is likely to become more mainstream in the United States market over the next few years.
This was the key finding of IP multimedia processing service provider Global IP Solutions, known as GIPS, survey conducted by Ovum, a global advisory and consulting firm. Respondents to the survey represent most of the top U.S. carriers, smaller and regional wireless carriers, mobile virtual network oprators and mobile application developers.
"The field of mobile video is wide open for marketers and advertisers," said Joyce Kim, chief marketing officer for GIPS, San Francisco. "GIPS is an enabling company and it is our customers that would be assisting the marketers and advertisers."
The Ovum study found that more than 50 percent of U.S. wireless carriers plan to launch, or increase access to, real-time video services over the next two years.
In order to compete with larger players, smaller carriers are offering more Internet access and are pursuing flexible IP communication applications from third parties.
Almost half of operators surveyed are enthusiastic about delivering open platforms for third party software developers
While only AT&T Wireless has thus far launched a video conferencing service, most carriers indicate the service is coming.
The study shows that carriers launching video conferencing applications would likely provide opportunity for software vendors.
While carriers have growing confidence in their networks, respondents indicated that optimization is still an issue, as well as usable applications and integration with social networks.
More than half of the respondents showed enthusiasm for open platforms, whereby software vendors can launch real-time video applications on a carrier-approved handset.
Most U.S. carriers are running what is classified as a 3G network or 3.5G or equivalent network, able to ensure high quality VoIP and video-based services.
Now, with 4G and WiMax networks beginning to emerge, there are fewer barriers to offering real-time video and VoIP on mobile phones and networks.
Ovum has developed long-standing relationships with many of its corporate clients, which include major international companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, BT, Cable & Wireless, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Telstra and Vodafone.
Ovum is part of the Datamonitor Group.
Global IP Solutions provides voice and video processing in IP communications.
GIPS serves mobile application developers, wired and wireless service providers, network and telecommunications equipment vendors, mobile phone manufacturers, ISPs and enterprises.
Its customer list includes AOL, Citrix, Gadu-Gadu, Google, IBM, Mail.ru, LG Nortel, Movial, Nimbuzz, Nortel, Oracle, Radvision, Samsung, Tencent and other players in the voice and video markets.
GIPS' customer Nimbuzz has already deployed a platform for the iPhone.
GIPS enables its customers to deliver a high quality IP communications experience to their customers.
"Real-time video is coming to the forefront for mobile operators, as many respondents stated significant video activity is in the pipeline for the next two years," said Mark Radoff, senior analyst for Ovum, London, in a written statement.
"Both the small and large operators are keen to launch these services and determine ways to productize real-time video, to differentiate their services and potentially increase ARPU," he said.