SAN FRANCISCO – Verizon is still on track to launch its LTE Multicast service in mid-2015 and Chris Carey, CPO at Verizon Digital Media Services, is promising a new kind of user experience for TV viewing.
Speaking Tuesday at the Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco, Carey talked about how the OnCue assets Verizon acquired from Intel will factor into the carrier’s virtual MVPD offering—essentially pay-TV for mobile.
OnCue, which never launched as a business at Intel, takes an innovative approach to presenting program and channel guides, Carey said. It’s recommendation-centric and puts favorite channels upfront instead of the relatively static programming guide format most traditional MVPDs currently use.
“When you see what we launch, it’s a really great next-generation user experience,” Carey said.
Verizon will be using its LTE broadcast for more event-specific television instead of for linear broadcasting. Carey said that’s not because of a technology issue but it has to do with total available bandwidth. Verizon has to take away from LTE phone and data traffic in order to do multicast. He also said the current channel count of 2 to 3 for LTE Multicast may eventually grow 5 times but not much more than that.
But despite the early hurdles and limitations, Carey seemed optimistic that TV is on the edge of a mobile transformation. He expects LTE broadcast to hit 12 Mbps streaming with little to no quality loss and that Verizon will be able to quickly configure its network—even in large metro areas—after publishers request LTE broadcast.
“Television is just at the tipping point of a very disruptive period of time,” Carey said.
Carey declared “the day of the aggregator has gone away,” clarifying that Verizon FiOS is still a good business, but the current pay-TV model bundles don’t work.
Carey said that major players like HBO and CBS going direct to consumers with OTT will help drive unbundling and then rebundling. In the future, bundles will be customizable packages that allow consumers to be choosier, he said.
In the meantime, aside from working to get its own LTE Multicast offering off the ground, Verizon is focused on creating common language platforms for advertising and content delivery, allowing brands to measure the reach of their messages.
Carey said video is currently about 70 percent of the traffic on Verizon’s network.