WiMAX TV: Raising revenues

WiMAX technology could offer traditional broadcasters a cost-effective route to developing mobile TV services, write Filip Gluszak and David Richardson.

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By  Flip Gluszak and David Richardson Published  May 27, 2008

WiMAX technology could offer traditional broadcasters a cost-effective route to developing mobile TV services, write Filip Gluszak and David Richardson.

Despite the rise in popularity of user-generated videos and other "do-it-yourself" forms of content, when it comes to authentic revenue generation, broadcast television programming is still king.

The revenue it generates, regardless of whether it is distributed via ad-supported, free-to-air (FTA) broadcasting, pay television or any other model, dwarfs that of other content types.

Despite the rise in popularity of user-generated videos [online], when it comes to authentic revenue generation, broadcast television is still king. - Filip gluszak, VP of Marketing, UDCast.

Telcos and other communications service providers looking to leverage their IP-based networks to offer video as part of subscriber packages recognise the necessity and huge appeal this type of content has in winning and maintaining an audience share.

Similarly, mobile operators are finding that broadcast programming is the key to thriving in an increasingly competitive landscape. As growth rates from pure voice traffic flatten, they are introducing data applications, not the least of which are videos of popular broadcast network programmes.

Hence, mobile TV is already proving a promising ARPU generator for mobile operators, with several million subscribers to such services worldwide.

Beyond the ARPU increase, mobile distribution of broadcast programming offers such new business opportunities as targeted advertising models. It's not surprising that incumbent operators are investing in infrastructure to meet the consumer expectation for 'content anywhere, any time on any device'.

WiMAX is emerging as one of the most promising wireless networking technologies designed to meet this demand. However, broadcast-quality video is a bandwidth hog. As an IP-based network, WiMAX faces inherent scalability problems.

Each new customer requires more bandwidth, connectivity sessions grow longer and applications such as video require ever more capacity. Serving thousands of such individual 'unicast' streams becomes expensive, and there is a seemingly inevitable decline in quality of service at periods of peak demand.

One way to avoid these issues, and take full advantage of WiMAX to meet consumer demand and operator interests, is to implement hybrid broadcast/multicast architecture.

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