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CSPs Know Set-top Box (STB) Video, but Need Big Data to Deal with Over-the-Top (OTT) Video

  • March 2014
  • 13 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2048170

Summary

Table of Contents

Introduction

Stratecast defines the Big Data, analytics, and business intelligence (BI) landscape around the Big Data core and three component areas, as shown in Figure 1. The evolution of communications services and enterprise applications is rapidly elevating one of those components, customer experience analytics (CEA), to a role of central importance in the Big Data market. Traditional network and service management solutions focus on whether networks and services are available, but they have a blind spot in terms of what a given customer is actually experiencing. CEA supports customer experience management (CEM), which helps to eliminate that blind spot.

CEA is designed to support any service a communications service provider (CSP) offers, but the most visible and important service that CSPs need help with today is video. CSPs are accustomed to delivering set-top box (STB) video, but the emergence of adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming video services challenges CSPs as never before in terms of technology, traffic, cost, and resources. The ABR streaming service wreaking most of the havoc is over-the-top (OTT) video, which CSPs deliver over an existing broadband Internet Protocol (IP) network connection. What distinguishes this method of service delivery is that the CSP need not be the owner of the network over which the service is riding. Although this distinction may seem trivial, it has profound impacts, not just on the processes by which such services are acquired, but also on the network owners—many of whom, to remain financially viable, depend on service revenue that is above what those owners earn simply for providing access.
This Stratecast report analyzes the challenges that OTT places on CSPs, and how Big Data is helping CSPs to meet those challenges.

Over-the-Top (OTT) Video is Extremely Popular—and Disruptive

Over-the-top (OTT) services, those services that are delivered over IP-based broadband networks, are increasingly popular. In fact, there are literally thousands of OTT providers, spanning every telecommunications market on the planet, and providing most types of telecommunications services.
Frost & Sullivan expects OTT video applications to generate more than half of all Internet protocol (IP) traffic globally by 2020. YouTube accounts for percent of all mobile video traffic in North America. About percent of consumers have experienced video QoE issues; and 63 percent of consumers are willing to pay for value-added services to improve their viewing experience.

One way CSPs have responded to the rising tide of video traffic is by migrating customers from unlimited or “all you can eat” data plans to tier-based usage plans that charge by the gigabyte. Yet, delivering high-quality video, and finding ways to profit from it, are objectives that are not achieved simply by imposing data caps. In part, that is because the problems are not simply rooted in questions of video supply and demand. The challenges are, however, found on both the supply side—the challenge of delivering video over networks and other resources from multiple suppliers—and on the demand side, as consumers demand high-quality OTT video on an exploding array of devices.

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