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Ericsson sets out vision for TV, media landscape in 2020

Details game-changers for television industry, forecasts 50bn devices plugged into global IP network within six years

Ericsson has unveiled the "Ericsson Media Vision 2020", which maps out the future of the television industry by the end of decade and paints a picture of how the TV and media landscape will evolve during that period.

Simon Frost, head of the Swedish company's Media Marketing and Communications Business Unit, Support Solutions, said that according to "Ericsson Media Vision 2020", the television industry of 2020 is expected to be a US$750-billion (Bt24 trillion) industry serving over 8 billion connected mobile broadband subscribers and more than 50 billion connected devices all plugged into a global IP (Internet Protocol) network.

Content owners, broadcasters, TV service providers and network operators that want to thrive must engage in new ways with shifting monetisation models that require operational flexibility and a laser focus on the consumer, he said.

The company's Media Vision 2020 aims to set the scene by outlining how industry got to this juncture, the current landscape and the biggest trends that revolve around the consumer, technology and business models that impacted TV over the years preceding 2020, he explained.

It points out the six key game-changers that Ericsson believes the TV industry needs to have a strategy around in order to navigate a viable path to 2020 and beyond.

First, that the networked society is realised. It expects that 15 billion video-enabled devices will be connected to broadband IP, transforming the consumption experience of TV. Thus, mobile broadband is essential in all regions, and fundamental in emerging regions.

The vision of the networked society will be realised as more than 50 billion connected devices, of which 15 billion will be video-enabled, will rely on mobile IP networks dominated by video.

In the year 2020, the global landscape will include 9 billion people, over 8 billion mobile broadband subscriptions and 1.5 billion homes with digital television, with analogue almost history.

Second, bundling of content and services remains the ultimate opportunity. Consumers will value simplicity and perceive value in a single bill. However, the essential need for broadband will enable separation of propositions from broadband access and content.

The third prediction is over-the-top delivery for all. Delivery of OTT content becomes applicable to all TV service providers or content owners as a way of reaching consumers, and enhancing established broadcast delivery platforms.

Fourth, on-demand will have risen to parity with live/linear. IP will have accelerated the ongoing shift of consumers to embrace the convenience of on-demand access to content to 50 per cent of their consumption.

Fifth, the new entrants will bring new investment. The acceleration of broadband capacity and penetration, along with ever more connected devices potentially enables a powerful device or social ecosystem to become a premium TV aggregator.

And last but not least, market revenues will have grown to $750 billion from $530 billion in 2013.

The distribution of revenues however shifts between content owners, broadcasters, TV service providers and network providers, especially as brands adapt advertising focus.

While this overall media vision alters depending on country, operator, audience demographic and a host of other factors, the Internet is going to have an increasingly critical role to play in the television industry.

Internet adoption, consumer experience and the business model of television are all likely to adapt dramatically. Therefore, meeting the service delivery requirements of content owners, new aggregators and pay-TV service providers will need agreement on the ways to drive the quality of experience consumers expect with network capability that others will provide, according to Ericsson.

For example, many of the viewers are also on the move. According to the "Ericsson Mobility Report", the largest and fastest growing mobile data traffic segment is video. It is expected to increase by approximately 55 per cent annually up until the end of 2019, by which point it will account for more than 50 per cent of global mobile traffic.

And as they are watching, this increasingly active and mobile audience is tweeting and engaging in social-networking exchanges around the world, turning a previously passive sporting event into an immersive and interactive experience.

The power and impact of TV is being amplified, and with it the potential rewards on offer for the segments of the industry that are ready to embrace the change.

Ericsson says it is ready to enable customers in the TV industry with the full ranges of products and services. For example, content distribution network (CDN) technologies and next-generation fixed and mobile Internet will be vital to keep up with demand.

Also, there are Ericsson Multi-platform Video Processing and the AVP 4000 system encoder. Ericsson Multi-platform Video Processing is a solution for optimising delivery of multi-screen services to consumers, with maximum efficiency, regardless of the delivery platform.

Meanwhile, the Ericsson AVP 4000 system encoder, which uses an entirely new Ericsson-designed and manufactured chip, delivers excellent MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC picture quality in both SD and HD.

The company's first-ever professional video chip is fully software programmable, meaning that codecs or resolutions can be upgraded in software, removing the need for customers to make complex, disruptive and often costly hardware changes in expanding or upgrading their systems.

Viettel, Vietnam's largest telecom operator, has recognised this and is deploying the Ericsson Multi-platform Video Processing solution with the Ericsson AVP 4000 system encoder to enable the delivery of cable TV alongside its existing IPTV services, said Frost.


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