How will telcos handle the video «cash cow»?

19 Apr 2017

Huawei hosted over 500 media and analysts to its 14th annual Analyst Summit, with a variety of executives discussing their roadmaps.

"Huawei will remain committed to building more connections, enlarging data pipes, and driving digital transformation," said rotating CEO Eric Xu in an opening keynote.

Xu said that cloud services are already a basic business model. "Beginning in 2017, Huawei will focus on public cloud services. We will invest heavily in building an open and trusted public cloud platform, which will be the foundation of a Huawei Cloud Family."

This cloud-based unit "will include public clouds we develop together with operators, and public clouds that we operate on our own," said Xu.

William Xu, executive director and chief strategy marketing officer, said that digital transformation "opens up immense new potential for value-driven growth in traditional industries." He said that ICT infrastructure is a pillar for economic growth, and that "the cloud in particular is key to unleashing the power of connectivity."

He said "Huawei recommends that countries and industries turn their attention to digital transformation as a driver for growth, and pursue greater development and investment opportunities in emerging fields like cloud computing, IoT, and big data."

Ryan Ding, executive director and president of products & solutions, said in his keynote that operators in some markets are beginning to monetize video services, with an early winner being high-definition streaming of sports events. Ding pegged video at "70% of [mobile] traffic" in the near future, with 1K (1080p), 2K and 4K options available depending on the operator.

In a media roundtable interview, Ding offered more granular data on the future of mobile video, describing it as a "new cash cow for mobile operators."

"We believe that 2K on smartphones and 4K on TVs is the sweet spot," he said, noting that "different countries have different situations."

Ding described sports as the most popular content worldwide, giving an example of Spanish pubs that draw punters with live 4K broadcasts of football matches. As he described it, the largest TV features traditional match coverage while additional displays show different views of the same match—an experience viewers won't get at home. He also said Huawei’s X Lab Insights estimates the overall entertainment market opportunity alone at $650 billion worldwide by 2020.

Ding isn't bullish on videoconferencing, but sees opportunities in the video surveillance market. There are 1.3 million CCTV cameras in Beijing alone, he said. "Last year in China, operators deployed 40 million IPTV sets," said Ding. "This number is comparable to the number deployed from 2005-2015."

The Huawei president of products & solutions urged operators to migrate legacy systems to the cloud, adding that those in China are better positioned for the move than operators in Europe who are more vested in their legacy systems.

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