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September 09, 2009

3G Mobile Video Delivery, The Time is Now

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director

At last week’s ITEXPO West in Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of interviewing some 40 communications industry executives, and came away with two key themes – mobility and video.  The general consensus was that if you’re in the communications space, and you’re not working on solutions or products that include mobility and/or video, you have a lot of catching up to do.  
It’s simple.  Mobility is the new driving force in the communications industry – its driving the unified communications market; it’s driving new and ever more exciting capabilities in mobile devices, it’s driving wireless network evolution to 3G and into 4G deployments, increasing the speed and quality of service – and all of this is driving the development of new services and applications, not the least of which is mobile video. 
In fact, you could make the case that video IS the new communications medium – both in consumer and business markets. We’ve already seen a noticeable increase in the desktop and room video conferencing markets, as businesses seek to increase their collaboration capabilities, while saving time and travel expenses. 
We’re also keenly aware of the tremendous growth of the mobile communications space, and a relative flattening of fixed-line revenues. In fact, research suggests that mobile data revenues are expected to hurdle fixed-line voice in the next two years, due to the integration of video capabilities into mobile handsets, which can enable new and exciting services, including video conferencing, video mail, video ringback tones, interactive voice and video response applications, and more.
That said, currently, the growth of mobile video is largely limited to one-way video communication – notably streaming video, like YouTube (News - Alert) other similar platforms.
Two-way mobile video on the other hand – not unlike its fixed-line counterpart – presents additional challenges to mobile operators, because it is significantly more sensitive to packet-loss, jitter, and delay, compared to one-way video. Of course, these issues become exacerbated in a mobile environment, where bandwidth is more limited and signal quality can fade as easily as it is gained.
Fortunately, as mobile video applications and services are developed, and handsets are built to use these services, infrastructure vendors are likewise developing technology that allows service providers to achieve consistent quality when delivering two-way video services to. 
That was the topic of a Webinar I moderated today, 3G Mobile Video Services Innovative Solutions for Mass Market Deployment, presented by Ray Adensamer (News - Alert), Senior Product Marketing Manager at RadiSys. Ray spent an hour discussing the specific challenges operators face when deploying video over 3G architectures, along with the latest solutions for overcoming these challenges and guaranteeing service quality. 
RadiSys, of course, has developed its own Convedia Media Server line, which is recently enhanced to include 3G mobile video features, specifically to address the growing demand for interactive video services, allowing service providers to support video processing on a single, common IP infrastructure and a single service delivery architecture.
The end result is a product that will allow service providers to leverage their existing networks to roll out new, revenue generating video services.
To hear how service providers can overcome the challenges of adding two-way video to their service offerings, register for the archived Webinar today.

Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Editorial Director of TMC, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to 2,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erik Linask

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