Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mobile Video services to make $2 billion

According to ABI research , Mobile video services is expected to generate revenue of $2 billion worldwide in 2013. This should be good news to all the Mobile video players like Skype, Fring, Apple etc. The mobile video includes Video Telephony, Video Messaging, P2P and Web 2.0 video sharing and live streaming. Apple recently launched its ambitious Mobile Video calling via FaceTime with iPhone 4. Though I don’t have an iPhone 4, I had the privilege to watch the FaceTime demo from one of my colleague and it was awesome. Already lots of folks are raving about FaceTime. Mobile Video calling is still in its infant stage and needs a big push from one of the Big Carrier/Mobile Vendor. Looks like Apple is pretty serious about mobile video and iam sure they will play a pivotal role in making this feature popular. Iam glad Apple is driving the technology.

The uptake of Mobile video service also depends on the wireless bandwidth availability, and this is one of the reasons most of the operators are moving towards LTE. Consumer’s appetite for mobile entertainment is increasing and thanks to iPhone’s and the droids. The mobile handset which was originally used for basic calling and messaging is now used as a primary entertainment device. In addition, consumers are willing to pay for the bandwidth usage. Web 2.0 services have definitely changed the Mobile industry. Information is Real-time. Be it Location, News, weather etc.

On a flip side, availability of mobile video capable handset and bandwidth can derail the growth of this service. The recent policy change of AT&T to charge for data based on usage is definitely going to hurt users while help operators make some more buck. If the service is compelling, consumers might be willing to pay some extra bucks and that might be a new avenue for operators to make money.

Some interesting tidbits from the article:

“Video services revenue will only amount to about $121 million this year,” says senior analyst Mark Beccue. “But the growth curve is very steep indeed, and will only continue to accelerate through the end of our forecast period in 2015.”

“MNOs mustn’t settle for the role of undifferentiated mobile ISPs that manage ‘dumb pipes’,” Beccue advises. “They should provide a variety of mobile video services and leverage strategic ecosystems until they upgrade their networks to provide quality video services. Partnering with device OEMs and software solution providers will help to optimize mobile devices. This will contribute to an already significant investment, but the rewards will be great.”

Though some folks are skeptical about Mobile Video calling, iam upbeat about the product and definitely think it has a bright future.

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