Telco and Media Are Miles Apart

Well that was an interesting visit to the LTE World Forum in Amsterdam. It's been a while since I've interfaced withe the mobile industry and what I encountered was worrying.

I had presumed that the delivery of video over mobile networks was pretty much sorted. All of our clients use MP4 and HLS to deliver an adaptive butrate up to full HD. But the telco industry does not seem to recognise that the internet stack has won the day and was mostly concerned with VOLTE (voice over LTE, or 4G to the rest of us). They do not recognise that Skype and Whatsapp have already stolen this show in the same way as HLS, for all its shortcomings has taken what they call the 'streaming' market.

I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon chewing the cudd with execs from KPN, Deutsche Telekom and NTT (who have already rolled out VOLTE). And they were adamant that the voice clarity and improved latency brought by VOLTE would be a winner with consumers. As someone often stifled by Skype this may be true, but it's going to be a steep slope to persuade users to drop their existing apps.

What is even more concerning was the chasm that still seems to exist between the telco and media worlds, considering the size of some of the cross industry deals going on at the moment.